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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 24, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Lake Washington sockeye returning

The early Lake Washington sockeye continue to return at a fairly good clip, considering that it was expected to be a poor run.

The pre-season forecast for Lake Washington sockeye is 19,300, and well below the spawning escapement goal of 350,000.

On June 22, 1,126 sockeye were counted at the Ballard Locks fish ladder viewing window, and on June 23, 867 more fish had passed up.

So far, 7,057 sockeye have been counted at the locks since the tracking began on June 12.

While this summer’s return is highly unlikely to generate any type of fishing, biologists are hopeful enough will return to boost furture returns.

The last time Lake Washington has a sockeye sport fishery was in 2006, which generated the largest catch since 1996.

In 2006, the sockeye run was estimated at 472,000, leaving a surplus of 122,000 for harvest to be caught by sport and tribal fishermen.

Other years when sufficient adult sockeye returns created sport fisheries in the lake was 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2004.

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