OLYMPIA – Anglers will get two more days to fish for sockeye salmon in Lake Washington on Wednesday and Thursday (Aug. 2-3), according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
State and tribal salmon co-managers have updated the size of the Lake Washington sockeye run to about 466,000 salmon. As of July 30, the sockeye count through the Ballard Locks totaled 412,730 fish. The new sockeye projection, which includes expected returns through August, is well above the spawning escapement goal of 350,000 salmon.
“We will continue to assess the strength of this year’s sockeye return and monitor the catch to see if we can provide anglers another opportunity to go fishing on Lake Washington,” said Tim Flint, WDFW salmon resource manager.
If the run size allows for an additional recreational opportunity, the fishery could occur early next week, Flint said.
The recreational sockeye fishery began last Saturday and was scheduled to run through today (July 31). On Saturday, anglers averaged 1.3 sockeye per rod, while anglers on Sunday averaged nearly one sockeye per rod.
“So far the success rate looks to be pretty high,” Flint said. “Anglers should continue to do well in this upcoming two-day opportunity.”
Fishing will be allowed from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. The daily limit is two sockeye, measuring at least 15 inches. All other salmon must be immediately released unharmed. No fishing will be allowed within 100 yards of the floating bridges. Waters within 1,000 feet of the mouth of the Cedar River in Renton also will be closed to all fishing.
Anglers must carry a freshwater or combination fishing license and salmon catch record card. Any salmon that is not released must be immediately recorded on the catch record card. Under freshwater fishing rules, anglers may only fish with one rod and must stop fishing once they have reached their personal daily limit.
A tribal fishery is scheduled for the south end of Lake Washington from 8 p.m. tomorrow (Aug. 1) through 3 a.m. Wednesday. Most tribal vessels will offload at the Atlantic City boat ramp. To avoid delays, anglers fishing Wednesday morning may want to launch at an alternate ramp, Flint said.
Seafair events also will be taking place Wednesday and Thursday on the lake. Vessel restrictions will be in place and the Stan Sayres boat ramp will be closed for Seafair. Anglers should check www.seafair.com for more information.
Currently, the Muckleshoot Tribe is tagging adult sockeye at the Ballard Locks. Anglers that catch a sockeye equipped with a disk or jaw tag should report the tag number to Eric Warner at (253) 876-3125. Any fish with unnumbered tags should have internal tags in their throat or stomach. Those tags, as well as blue external iButton tags, should be sent to the Muckleshoot Tribe, 39015 172nd Ave. SE, Auburn, 98022.
More information on Lake Washington sockeye salmon can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/sockeye/counts.htm.