The Lake Washington sockeye counting begins Tuesday, June 10 at the Ballard Locks fish ladder, and many will be keeping an eye on how the sockeye returns pan out.
Folks who have visited the Ballard Locks fish viewing window are saying that a few sockeye are already heading into the lake.
This summer’s forecast of 166,997 sockeye falls well short of the 350,000 spawning escapement, but this run has exceeded forecasts in past years and if the predictions are on target it would be a significant improvement for the third year in a row.
Last year, an in-season return of 179,203 beat a forecast of 96,866, and in 2012, 145,815 headed back to the large urban watershed after a forecast of 45,871.
The breakdown of this summer’s return looks like this: Cedar River bound are made up of 54,348 hatchery sockeye and 50,464 wild fish, plus another 62,185 headed for the Sammamish River.
Here is a link to the state Fish and Wildlife website to follow the returns back to the large urban watershed http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/counts/sockeye/.