Joint Staff Report Concerning the 2004 Fall In-River Commercial Harvest of Columbia River Fall Chinook Salmon, Summer Steelhead, Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon, and Sturgeon


This report describes fall fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River and includes summaries of 2003 fall fisheries, 2004 management guidelines, expected 2004 fall fish runs, and the outlook for 2004 fall fisheries. It is part of an annual series of reports produced by the Joint Columbia River Management Staff of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) prior to each major Columbia River Compact hearing. Information concerning early and late fall mainstem management periods and fall Select Area fisheries are included in this report.

The first Compact hearing of the 2004 fall management period will begin at 10 AM, Thursday July 29 at the Cowlitz County Public Utility District office located at 961 12th Avenue, Longview, Washington. The purpose of this hearing is to consider non-Indian commercial fishing options for the mainstem Columbia River. Following the hearing, the states will consider Select Area fall salmon seasons in Big Creek, Youngs Bay, Tongue Point, Blind Slough, Deep River, and Steamboat Slough. Additionally, a Compact hearing has been scheduled for 10 AM Friday August 20 at the Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Enforcement Office located at 4270 Westcliff Drive, Hood River, Oregon. The purpose of this hearing is to review salmon and steelhead stock status and to consider non-Indian commercial fisheries and/or treaty Indian commercial fisheries in the mainstem Columbia River. Further Compact hearings will be scheduled throughout the fall management period as needed to evaluate salmon and steelhead stock status and adopt or modify treaty Indian and non-Indian commercial seasons as appropriate.

Salmon and summer steelhead returns are forecast prior to the fall season and are updated inseason based on the most current ocean and in-river fishery information plus Columbia River dam counts (Table 1). White sturgeon abundance in the lower Columbia River is updated annually. The data in this report are a consensus of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) which completed its review prior to printing. The TAC is comprised of biologists from state and federal fish management agencies and the Columbia River treaty Indian tribes, and functions by agreement of the parties under U. S. v. Oregon.