For the first time since 2004, Lake Wenatchee sockeye salmon fishing will open tomorrow (Aug. 6).
The daily fishery will close when the harvest quota is reached, likely on short notice, said Jeff Korth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) north-central region fish program manager.
Harvest and fish counts at Tumwater Dam both will be closely monitored, Korth said. To date, more than 24,000 sockeye have been counted at Tumwater Dam on the Wenatchee River. The number of fish needed for spawning is 23,000 fish.
The daily limit per angler is two sockeye, at least 12 inches long. Sockeye with a colored, plastic tag near the dorsal fin, as well as all bull trout, steelhead and chinook salmon, must be released unharmed without removing them from the water.
Selective-gear rules are in effect on Lake Wenatchee, except that fishing from a boat equipped with a motor is allowed and up to three barbless hooks are allowed. No bait or scent may be used, and the use of knotless nets for landing fish is required. A night closure also is in effect for the sockeye fishery, with legal angling hours running from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Anglers must have a valid Washington freshwater or combination fishing license and a catch record card.
There is very limited public access on Lake Wenatchee, Korth noted. A small, primitive boat launch on U.S. Forest Service property and a boat launch at Lake Wenatchee State Park are available but parking is limited.