July 26th, 2016
The Columbia River Compact convened for a face-to-face meeting at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 26, 2016 at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington for the first Compact meeting of the early fall season. In fishery management circles, August begins the early fall management season for Columbia River salmonid fisheries. The early fall season for non-Indian fisheries includes the Buoy 10 recreational fishery from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the river to the Tongue Pt./Rocky Pt. line. The early fall commercial fishery in the last few years has been limited to Zones 4 & 5, from the Lewis River confluence to the upper commercial fishing deadline at Beacon Rock. The purpose of moving the fishery upriver is to limit harvest of lower river tule fall Chinook stocks. Lower river hatchery (LRH) fall Chinook are used as the surrogates for lower river natural tule fall Chinook, and are one of the highly constraining factors during fall Chinook fisheries targeting “bright” stocks. Bright fall Chinook are high value fish on the market during in-river fisheries, whereas tule fall Chinook are low value fish when caught in-river. Tule fall Chinook, however, are the bread and butter of offshore hook-and-line fisheries for the troll and charter fleets, largely because they bite.
The run-timing of coho salmon overlaps that of fall Chinook, with larger numbers moving in as the season progresses. After last year’s disappointing coho returns, the preseason expectation for the coho run in 2016 is not promising. The preseason forecast for lower Columbia River coho, however, is the brightest spot in a very bleak year for coho salmon along the north Pacific coast.
Fall Fact Sheet No. 1 and 1a are appended in the form of PDF files. The subsequent Compact Action Notice is posted as well.