The only way to reconcile the RMIS report and the one I just posted is if the "year" in the latter actually refers to the parental brood year instead of the year of release.

Since the table is titled "On-Station Smolt Releases" one would think "Year" refers to when they were actually released.


Interesting thing about that document is the history of shifts in chinook production between the 3 hatcheries as the management objectives changed.

Up until 2008, we had meat-market production at all three facilities pumping out a total of upwards of 7-8 million smolts for release annually.

In 2009, WDFW declared Naselle the Primary stream for conservation. Naselle production was ratcheted down, while Nemah and Forks Cr were amped up to compensate for most of the shortfall.

In 2015, WDFW/WFWC decided it was too difficult to pass natural adults intact thru the full gauntlet of fisheries. Conceptually, one can think of WB geographically as an outer (Willapa) middle (Nemah) and inner (Naselle) bay. The prevailing argument was that it made no sense to make the primary conservation population have to traverse the entire outer, middle, and inner bay(s) before making it to home waters. It would be more practical to manage commercial fisheries if the primary fish could make a quick left turn to escape the bulk fleet. Hatchery production could be ramped up in the south bay for more stable and predictable harvest while minimizing the effects of the primary production in the north.

So that's where we sit today...

Look, the sky is NOT falling down. Total baywide chinook production is very similar to what we had in the early 2000's. The way things seem to be headed, that production is likely to significantly increase in the next few years as the big players seek to amp up Naselle production even more. The BIG difference is that Willapa/Forks is now the primary stream with hatchery releases curtailed to better meet the PNI/pHOS criteria of a well-managed primary population.

The challenge to the rec fishery will be to figure out how to get their gear in the migratory path of those Naselle and Nemah fish. Where there's a will, there's a way. Someone will figure it out, and then a lot of the whining will probably go away.