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Just under 85,000 Upper Columbia River summer Chinook are forecast to return in 2023, representing about 120 percent of the 10-year average return and higher than last year’s 78,500 fish. The total return of fall Chinook to the Columbia River is expected to be similar to the recent 3-year returns. Lower river hatchery Chinook stocks, also known as lower Columbia River “tules,” are expected to be similar to the recent 3-year returns. These fish are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and may affect fishing opportunities on the lower Columbia River, as happened in 2022. Bonneville Pool Hatchery “tule” Chinook destined to waters upstream of Bonneville Dam are forecast to have another strong return with 136,100 fish, representing 149 percent of the 10-year average, but below last year’s record return of 258,300 fish.

Forecasts for Columbia River Coho for the ocean and Columbia River are expected to see a slight improvement compared to the past two years’ returns, with just over 886,000 early and late Coho predicted to return in 2023, that nearly double the 10-year average. Meanwhile, 234,500 sockeye are predicted to return to the Columbia in 2023, higher than last year’s forecast but well below the actual return of nearly 665,000 fish.

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