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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

July 27, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Baker River fish trap broken, and has delayed transporting sockeye to Baker Lake fishery

Here is the latest word on the Baker Lake sockeye fishery where the Baker River fish trap is broken, and has been under repair since last Saturday.

What that translates to is no sockeye have been transported up to Baker Lake since then.

“We are still working on repairing the fish trap, and hope to have it up and running by (Wednesday, July 27),” said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.

“It broke basically (last) Saturday when they had fish get trapped underneath the fish trap,” Barkdull said. “They had to dewater the trap to find out what was going on, and then found out they had a big problem. We had about 1,200 sockeye trapped underneath and it ended up killing about 600 of them.”

“Since that has happened there are no fish going into the lake, and that is probably why we had such a low count of only 48 fish on Saturday,” Barkdull said.

So far there have been 8,701 sockeye transferred into the lake for the sport fishery, and fishing has been fair to good depending on who you talk to.

“Some are doing better than others, and the angler pressure has died way down,” Barkdull said. “There was somewhere in the order of 75 boats on the lake (Wednesday, July 27).”

The sockeye are not in the same plces as they were last summer,” he said. “Most are in shallower areas since the water temperatures are a heckuva lot lower than last year. Most are only sitting as deep as 15 to 30 feet.”

The good news Barkdull says is: “We know we have more fish than the forecast now, but how many more we don’t just yet.”

Sport fishing advocate and sockeye fishing enthusiast Frank Urabeck called me this morning to give me his report on the Baker Lake sockeye fishery.

“We limited (six fish for two anglers) in one hour and 15 minutes, and started at 5:30 a.m. and they are big and beautiful fish running 5 to almost 8 pounds,” said Urabeck, who also pointed out the two-rod per angler rule for those who paid for it are in effect on Baker. “The fish were spread out in the upper area from where we launched at Spring Creek to Noisy Creek and down almost about a mile long area. So they were being caught all over the lake.”

Urabeck says there was a lot of action early in the morning, and then it slowed down by around 7:15 a.m.

“The set up that worked the best was the tiny pink hootchie (plastic squid) over the top of a tandem red colored hooks worked the best,” Urabeck said. “We also rigged up two red hooks and put five beads and the little wings you use for trolling for kokanee and hooked two fish on that one too. We also used the standard two bare red or blue hook set up with a 0 chrome dodger.”

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