For the second year in a row, the Skykomish River section open for hatchery-marked chinook fishing could be in jeopardy of closing soon if the fish counts don’t pick up at the Wallace Hatchery.
“I did hear from the agency there is a concern the Wallace Hatchery chinook return is low and we may not meet the broodstock (spawning) escapement,” said Pete Verhey, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “There is a potential for it to shutdown. We are hopeful the fish are still out there to keep it open, and we’ll wait a couple more days before we make a decision.”
The chinook fishery on the Skykomish River from the Wallace River down to the confluence is not a real barn burner, Verhey says, and creel crews on June 19-20 saw 10 chinook and nine steelhead kept, plus five steelhead released. That is about the same as the previous week when 14 kings were kept.
“There sure seem to be a lot of effort on the Skykomish,” Verhey said.
The person stationed at the facility at Reiter Ponds reported about a dozen summer steelhead were being caught daily.
“Things were pretty hot and heavy when it first opened (June 12), but not it has tailed off with just some fish caught,” Verhey said.