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July 13, 2001
Contact: Dick Geist, (360) 902-2733

Sockeye numbers too low for fishing

OLYMPIA State and tribal fish managers agreed today that a sockeye salmon fishery in Lake Washington will not occur this year because there are not enough returning fish.

Biologists and fish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Muckleshoot, Tulalip and Suquamish tribes reached the decision after reviewing the number of adult sockeye which have returned to the lake through the Hiram Chittenden Locks in Ballard.

Scientists agree that at least 350,000 fish must survive to spawn so that future runs are strong enough to support fisheries. As of July 13, the number of fish was below 350,000.

Last year, a returning run of over 400,000 fish provided an early July fishery that drew some 75,000 recreational anglers to the lake over a 10-day period, and also provided a tribal net fishery.