Historic Fish Returns & Grape Harvest Outlook

Historic Fish Returns & Grape Harvest Outlook

Historic Fish Returns & Grape Harvest Outlook

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

The annual fall migration of chinook salmon into the Columbia River Basin is in full swing and to date more than 200 thousand adult fall chinook have climbed the fish ladders at Bonneville Lock and Dam this season. September 8th went down in history as the largest, single-day return of chinook, since counting began at the dam in 1938, with a count of 67,521. Returns are the result of federal, tribal, state and non-profit organizations in the region working together over the past decade to improve conditions in the tributaries and main stem river using an "all H" approach – harvest, habitat, hydro and hatcheries – as well as favorable ocean conditions.

Kevin Corliss, Vice-President of Vineyards for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, says this year is lining up to be a fantastic harvest for wine grapes.

CORLISS: We are just starting to get into the early varieties, sauvignon blanc, quite a bit of that is already in the wineries. We're getting into chardonnay in a big way right now and just starting to sample some reds. And the weather could not be better - perfect ripening weather.

Like many other crops this year Corliss says harvest is coming a little earlier than normal.

CORLISS: About a week, maybe ten days. It seems to be slipping a little bit, and I don't know if that's just a matter of flavor development or what, but when we were running into the Labor Day weekend I was thinking oh gosh, we're going to be really early, but winemaking is electing to kind of go slow on the beginning of the harvest and now we're still early but we're not as early as we originally thought.

Due to new plantings and the fact that many of the fairly large vineyards added over the last several years are now becoming fully productive a record crop is expected overall.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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