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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 8, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Lake Washington salmon returns winding down at Ballard Locks

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Here are the final Lake Washington system counts for chinook, sockeye and coho from the Ballard Chittenden Locks.

“As you see, there has been very little movement in the numbers from the last report,” said Bill Robinson, a member of the Seattle Public Utilities Cedar River Oversight Committee.

“We’ll have to hope that we have a flood free fall and winter, to maximize freshwater survival,” Robinson said. “The only way we are going to recover the resources of the Cedar River, either short or long-term, is to rebuild the populations of the species.”

“This starts with increasing inriver survival of the species. SPU does an excellent job in managing the river flows, but some of the weather systems are just overpowering,” he said.

There has been no change in the chinook return from last week with 4,909 through Oct. 1, which is still quite a bit below the historical averages.

The sockeye migration through the Locks is finished except for the very occasional late arriving fish. Through Oct. 2, 43,724 have returned to the Locks compared to the preseason forecast of 34,683.

The coho return has now waned, however the good news this fall is the wild coho were increasing.

Through Oct. 2, 7,858 coho have been counted at the Locks. The preseason forecast is 28,606 (23,708 are of hatchery origin). Daily counts have averaged from a high of 539 coho on Sept. 27, to recent counts of 105 on Oct. 1 and 111 on Oct. 2.

Fish counts at the Ballard Locks are conducted mainly by the Muckleshoot Tribe with help from state Fish and Wildlife, and other volunteers.

(Photo taken by Mark Yuasa)

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