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Salmon forecasts and possible fishing seasons will come to light March 1 when state Fish and Wildlife unveils their outlook for 2016.

The public meeting will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday (March 1) in the Natural Resources Building, Room 172, 1111 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia. Final seasons will be announced April 8-14 in Vancouver.

Some early forecasts for the Columbia River have already come to light that allow for some ocean and in-river fisheries this summer and fall.

Recently, the Oregon Production Index, which provides ocean coho abundance forecasts, showed numbers this summer/fall will likely be down.

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The forecast calls for 549,200 coho to arrive off the Washington-Oregon coast, compared to a preseason forecast of 1,015,000 last year and an actual return of 322,100 (forecast in 2014 was 964,100 and a return of 1,240,800).

The Columbia subtotal this season is 380,600 – these are fish that turn the corner of southwest Washington and doesn’t include the northern Oregon coast.

“Those coho numbers aren’t good, bottom line, and we’re on the thin side, but that figure isn’t the end of the world,” said Doug Milward, a state Fish and Wildlife coastal salmon manager.

The Columbia forecast last year was 777,100 coho, but less than a third actually returned – 242,300. Poor ocean conditions and a lack of feed could have played a negative role.

The highlight this summer appears to be a strong Columbia River fall chinook return that will be similar to recent past years. The five-year average has been 800,000 for upriver bright-bound chinook.

Last year, the forecast was 664,700, but the actual return was estimated to be 969,400, and was the second largest return since 1964.

The pilot run are the spring chinook, and some have already appeared in Lower Columbia River catches and at Bonneville Dam.

The forecast calls for 188,800 upriver-bound Columbia River adult spring chinook, compared to last year’s forecast of 232,500 (actual return was 289,000).

“The spring chinook forecast would rank as the ninth-largest dating back to 1990, if it comes in as expected,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

The largest spring adult chinook return on record was 541,000 (364,600 was the forecast) in 2001, and the worst was 12,792 (12,000) in 1995.

Approved is a 38-day spring chinook catch-and-keep season on the Lower Columbia from March 1 to April 9 – except closed March 29 and April 5 – from Buoy 10 up to Beacon Rock, plus bank fishing only from Beacon Rock up to the Bonneville Dam deadline marker. Daily limit is two salmon; only one may be a hatchery-marked chinook.

Currently, the Lower Columbia downstream from the I-5 Bridge is open for hatchery chinook and steelhead, and I-5 up to Highway 395 Bridge is open for hatchery steelhead only.

The catch expectation is about 9,100 adult spring chinook (7,130 upriver spring chinook mortality) for the Lower Columbia fishery, and 900 adult fish for the season above Bonneville.

The Columbia River from the Tower Island power lines (about six miles below The Dalles Dam) to the Oregon-Washington border, plus the bank area between Bonne­ville and the Tower Island power lines is open March 16 to May 6.

Last year, 151,173 angler trips were taken with 19,586 spring chinook kept and 5,052 released for one fish for every six angler trips. The catch-and-keep fishery was open 74 of the 107 days from March 1 to June 15.

Other meeting dates to set the salmon fishing seasons better known as the North of Falcon Process are:

Feb. 24: Willapa Bay & Grays Harbor Forecast Meeting, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Montesano City Hall, 112 N Main St. in Montesano. State Fish and Wildlife will present Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor salmon abundance forecasts. Fishery management objectives and preliminary fishing opportunities for 2016 are discussed.

March 8: Willapa Bay Advisory Meeting, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Raymond High School Library, 1016 Commercial St. in Raymond. Discussion of management objectives and preliminary fishery options for Willapa Bay.

March 9: Grays Harbor Advisory Meeting, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at WDFW Region 6 Montesano Office, 48 Devonshire Road in Montesano. Discussion of management objectives and preliminary fishery options for Grays Harbor.

March 8-14: Pacific Fishery Management Council Meeting at DoubleTree by Hilton Sacramento, 2001 Point West Way in Sacramento, Calif. The PFMC adopts a range of ocean fishery options, including catch quotas for sport and commercial fisheries.

March 15: First North of Falcon Meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Office Building 2 Auditorium, 1115 Washington Street S.E. in Olympia. Parking is available in the visitor lot of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia. Discussion of management objectives and preliminary fishery proposals for Puget Sound, coastal Washington and Columbia River area sport and commercial fisheries.

March 17: Puget Sound Recreational Fisheries Discussion from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Trinity Methodist Church, 100 South Black Ave. in Sequim. Public discussion of pre-season forecasts and possible salmon fisheries.

March 17: Columbia River/Ocean Fisheries Discussion from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Heathman Lodge, 7801 NE Greenwood Dr. in Vancouver. Public discussion of pre-season forecasts and possible salmon fisheries.

March 21: Columbia River Fisheries Discussion from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia. Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Columbia River fall commercial and sport fisheries.

March 22: Willapa Bay Fisheries Discussion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Raymond Elks, 326 Third St. in Raymond. Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Willapa Bay. Fishery management objectives and preliminary fishing opportunities for 2016 are discussed.

March 22: Mid-Columbia River Fisheries Discussion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Walla Walla Community College’s Auditorium, 1470 Bridge St. in Clarkston. Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Columbia River sport fisheries.

March 23: Columbia River Fisheries Discussion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Benton PUD Auditorium, 2721 W. 10th Ave. in Kennewick. Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Columbia River fall commercial and sport fisheries.

March 24: Grays Harbor Fisheries Discussion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Montesano City Hall, 112 N Main St. in Montesano. Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Grays Harbor. Fishery management objectives and preliminary fishing opportunities for 2016 are discussed.

March 24: Mid-Columbia/Snake Rivers Fisheries Discussion from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Chelan PUD, 327 N. Wenatchee Ave. in Wenatchee. Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Columbia River sport fisheries.

March 26: Puget Sound Recreational Fisheries Discussion from 10 a.m. to noon. at WDFW Mill Creek Office, 15018 Mill Creek Blvd. in Mill Creek. Public discussion of pre-season forecasts and possible salmon fisheries.

March 28: Public Hearing on Ocean Salmon Management Options at 7 p.m. at Chateau Westport – Beach Room, 710 W. Hancock in Westport. Public hearing, sponsored by the Pacific Fishery Management Council, to receive comments on the proposed ocean salmon fishery management options adopted by the council during its early March meeting.

March 30: North of Falcon Meeting from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Embassy Suites Hotel, 20610 44th Avenue W. in Lynnwood. Public meeting to present results of state-tribal negotiations and analyses of preliminary fishery proposals. With public participation, preferred options are developed for Puget Sound sport and commercial fisheries.

April 6: North of Falcon Meeting – Columbia River & Ocean discussion from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. in Olympia. Public meeting to present results of state-tribal negotiations and analyses of Ocean and Columbia River fisheries proposals. With public participation, preferred seasons are developed for Ocean and Columbia River area sport and commercial fisheries.

April 8-14: Final Pacific Fishery Management Council Meeting at Hilton Vancouver, 301 W. 6th St. in Vancouver. PFMC adopts final ocean fisheries regulations and state-tribal fishing plans are finalized for all inside area commercial and sport salmon fisheries.