Local salmon anglers have suffered through several poor years that have included unprecedented fisheries closures and terrible returns. So, when the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife projected a huge coho run in the Columbia for this fall, fishermen across the region rejoiced.
The hope was that the trend of terrible ocean conditions was ending, and better times lay ahead.
However, that hope has faded. Not only did the coho not show as expected, some signs point to more years of poor salmon returns.
Ryan Lothrop, the Columbia River Fishery Manager for the WDFW, reports that there were some signs early that the run was not as strong as expected.
“They only used about one half of the ocean coho quota,” he said, “and it is kind of tracking in that ballpark in-river.”