Late coho return to Columbia likely below forecast

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The return of late-stock coho the Columbia River may be less than forecast, Washington and Oregon fish biologists said Monday.

Projections made this spring called for a poor late coho return of 102,300 to the Columbia. Biologist John North of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said the latest estimate is a range of 84,000 to 105,000 fish.

Late coho enter the Columbia River mostly in October and November.

The commercial fleet has about 400 coho remaining available for harvest. Because it is difficult to set a commercial fishing period guaranteed not to exceed 400 fish, state officials decided to end commercial fishing in the lower Columbia for the year.