When the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs founded the Hood River office in 1991 one of the primary goals of the Hood River project was to reintroduce spring Chinook salmon to the Hood River watershed. The reintroduction effort sought both to establish a naturally spawning population where these fish had gone extinct, as well as return enough fish to support a tribal subsistence fishery in the ceded lands. The Hood River Production Program has continued to improve hatchery rearing practices by investing in infrastructure and applying the latest research. Efforts have been successful and runs have continued to build since those initial reintroduction efforts. In 2001 the Spring Chinook run was strong enough for the first tribal fishing season to be opened on the Hood River. Since then the Spring Chinook runs have been strong enough to open a tribal spring Chinook season in 14 of the last 17 years, and each of the last 11 years. The 2017 run year was especially notable as we recorded the highest estimated tribal Chinook harvest at the Punchbowl Falls fishery on the West Fork Hood River in the history of the program, with nearly 700 spring Chinook harvested by Warm Springs tribal members.
Estimated run size of hatchery spring Chinook to the mouth of the Hood River and estimated harvest in the Punchbowl Falls tribal subsistence fishery from 2001 to 2017.