Grande Ronde Steelhead Count Update
Here is the Grande Ronde Steelhead Count update update from Jeff Yanke, the Wallowa District Fish Biologist. There are some encouraging numbers here. Thanks to Jeff for sharing this data with us.
Hope this update finds you all well. See attached for this week’s PIT tag estimates, updated through Sunday, and last week’s Grande Ronde River creel report. Here’s a quick breakdown…
Bonneville Dam: We estimated at only 75 steelhead migrated above Bonneville last week, confirming the Grande Ronde and Imnaha runs are about complete. This year’s total is up to 20,595.
McNary Dam: Fish continue to move steadily through the lower Columbia, around 1,000 per week. Currently we estimate a total of 14,000 fish above McNary Dam, about 68% of the estimate at Bonneville Dam. During the last two run years, we’ve estimated 70-75% of our fish survive the migration between Bonneville and McNary so things are winding down here as well.
Lower Granite Dam: We have now eclipsed 11,000 Grande Ronde steelhead above Lower Granite Dam. We estimated that at approximately 1,800 migrated above last week, so the run is still coming pretty strong here. Of what we’ve estimated above Granite, we estimate 8,500 of those are bound for the Grande Ronde and 3,000 for the Imnaha. Of the steelhead that crossed Bonneville, we estimate 54% of the Grande Ronde and 62% of the Imnaha stock are now above Lower Granite.
Imnaha / Grande Ronde Rivers: Catch rates were amazing in the Grande Ronde River last week (see attached report). A steelhead for every 4-5 hours of fishing is tough to beat! Our guides are doing really well throughout the Grande Ronde corridor. We did observe more steelhead in the Imnaha River since last week, but estimate only 100 are in the river above Cow Creek. I’m confident many, many more than that are in the lower canyon and staging near Eureka Bar.
This is prime-time folks. Enjoy!