Historically, jacks have been used to predict next year’s adult run, but the old relationships no longer are as applicable, according to Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in an article in the Vancouver Columbian.
Based on the 2009 jack count, the biologists forecast an adult run of 470,000 in 2010, but only 315,000 actually returned.
“You can’t trust them (jacks) any more,” Roler said. “Jacks lie. The more jacks, the more they lie. Until you know all the details, you don’t know how much they lie.”
Roler said this year’s surprisingly high jack count is more encouraging than low numbers, but it is too early to know what they portend for the 2014 run.