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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 29, 2009 at 11:20 AM

Lake Wenatchee sockeye sport fishery may happen soon

While Lake Washington sockeye returns are dismal this summer it appears more and more likely that Lake Wenatchee could have its second consecutive year of sport fishing for these tasty fish.

According to the Lake Wenatchee Visitor Guide Web site they have received two independent reports that the sockeye fishing season could open as soon as Aug. 5.

The Web site is also taking bids on a sockeye fishing trip as part of the Lake Wenatchee Fire Department’s Silent Benefit Auction with Rollie Schmitten, former director of state fisheries and recently appointed as a state Fish and Wildlife commissioner.

Schmitten who is known as a Lake Wenatchee fishing legend has donated his fishing time to the lucky winner of this auctioned item.

Art Viola, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist says they still won’t know if a Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishing season will occur but, “it is looking more likely than it had in the past [and] we will know more in a week or so.”

Schmitten says a decision on a fishery is primarily determined by a hard number of fish having passed over Tumwater Dam.

Through July 22, 6,984 sockeye have been counted at the Tumwater Dam. Last summer, the lake opened for the first time since 2004.

Lake Wenatchee needs about 23,000 sockeye for spawning escapement, plus an additional 4,000 more fish to have a sport fishery.

The Lake Wenatchee run size this summer has been raised to just over 31,000 fish.

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