On the eve before the Skagit River opens it looks like sockeye salmon have made their appearance.
“The first fish showed at the trap yesterday (Thursday) afternoon and the fish are here not that I’m surprised and right on time,” said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist.
The sockeye fishery in the Skagit River from Highway 536 at Mount Vernon to the mouth of Gilligan Creek is open through June 29 with a two sockeye daily limit (a 12 inch minimum size limit) and a night closure.
The Skagit system sockeye forecast this summer is 35,377 (similar to about 35,000 two years ago), and up from about 21,000 last year.
The Baker Lake sockeye fishery will be open July 10 to Sept. 7, and the daily catch limit has been raised to three sockeye compared two fish last summer.
Barakdull says the state Fish and Wildlife website that tracks the Baker River sockeye sockeye run is up and running, and anglers can follow the counts once they start arriving at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/sockeye/baker_river.html.
The peak time and/or mid-point of the sockeye run is usually around July 17.