Another healthy salmon return is shaping up in the Pacific Northwest this year based on initial estimates by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council.

This month the council issued preliminary numbers to begin the process of setting new regulations for the upcoming sport and commercial fishing seasons. 

This year the council predicts more than 312,000 spring or early chinook salmon will return to the Columbia River with more than 232,500 heading to waters above Bonneville Dam into Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

This fall an estimated 652,000 Chinook are expected to the Sacramento River and 423,000 to the Klamath River.  

For Coho returns to the Columbia, estimates are slightly down from last year when nearly 1 million returned, but still strong. This year an estimated 700,000 Coho are expected. 

There had been some concern that higher than average ocean water temperatures due to an El Nino affect could disrupt the bait fish that salmon rely on for food. But so far, early returns are indicating a healthy year.

“The season, of course, depends upon how the ocean sets up,” Richard Heap, a Brookings angler who represents Oregon anglers in federal salmon-season discussions told the Associated Press. “If it does, the fish should be there. Hopefully, we’ll knock the stuffing out of them and everybody will be happy.”

For those looking to net a notorious king salmon, Southern Oregon especially out of Brookings looks to be the top spot for boat fishing. Below is a video with some helpful tips on napping a giant.

© Willard | Dreamstime.comSenior Man Fishing For Salmon In Alaska Photo