OLYMPIA - A one-day recreational fishery for sockeye salmon in Lake Washington has been set for Saturday, July 17, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The fishery was announced Monday after state and tribal salmon co-managers reviewed updated weekend counts of sockeye from the Ballard Locks and agreed to update the strength of the sockeye run estimate to 385,000 fish. The spawning escapement goal for Lake Washington sockeye is 350,000 fish.
Even with an expected strong angler turnout, fisheries managers anticipate the total catch of Saturday's fishery to stay within the non-treaty share of 17,500 fish. In 2002, the last year a recreational fishery was conducted, sport fishers caught an average of 12,000 fish per day during the three-day fishery.
Fishing will be allowed from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. There will be a two-sockeye daily limit, with sockeye retention limited to those fish 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. Additionally, waters within 1,000 feet of the mouth of the Cedar River in Renton will be closed to all fishing.
Anglers must have a freshwater fishing license and salmon catch record card. Kept salmon 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 their personal daily limit is caught.
Contributing to the harvestable surplus of sockeye this year is the temporary sockeye hatchery facility on the Cedar River. According to WDFW research, hatchery fish accounted for 20-25 percent of the sockeye caught in the 2002 Lake Washington sport fishery.
WDFW maintains a Lake Washington sockeye salmon website, at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/sockeye/counts.htm on the Internet.