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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 7, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Determined Cowlitz River sockeye salmon returns to hatchery four times

Talk about a persistent little sockeye salmon.

The Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery crew each week gathers any excess steelhead and salmon at the hatchery, and then ships some of the fish back downstream in the Cowlitz River to provide sport anglers a chance to catch them.

Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist told me this morning (Wednesday, July 7) that over the course of four times one particular sockeye salmon was recycled downstream to the Massey Bar boat launch on the Cowlitz River only to return to the hatchery time and time again.

The sockeye was initially marked at the hatchery, and recycled downstream to the Massey Bar boat launch on Monday, June 21. Then the fish returned Wednesday, June 23; made its way back on Friday, June 25, then was shipped downstream; and lastly swam up a fourth time on Friday, July 2.

This past week, Tacoma Power recovered 726 summer-run steelhead, 360 adult spring chinook, 51 jack spring chinook, 107 mini-jack spring chinook and the one wily sockeye.

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