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July 22, 2004
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Lake Wenatchee sockeye season opens Saturday, July 24, 2004

OLYMPIA - Lake Wenatchee sockeye salmon fishing opens on Saturday, July 24 for the first time since 2001, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The fishery will continue on a daily basis until the harvestable quota has been taken and is likely to close on short notice, said Tim Flint, WDFW statewide salmon manager.

To date, more than 27,000 sockeye have been counted at Tumwater Dam on the Wenatchee River, well above the spawning escapement goal of 23,000 fish. WDFW fisheries managers will monitor the catch and fish counts at Tumwater Dam to determine the duration of the fishery.

The daily limit per angler is two sockeye with a minimum size of 12 inches. Sockeye with a yellow plastic tag near their dorsal fin must be released. The fishery will be open under selective gear rules, except fishing from a boat equipped with a motor will be allowed. These rules include a requirement to use barbless hooks, and no bait may be used. All bull trout, a federally protected species, must be immediately released unharmed and should not be removed from the water prior to release.

There is very limited access on Lake Wenatchee. 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. Once parking is full, a vehicle will have to leave before another vehicle is allowed to enter the launch and parking area. Wenatchee State Park charges a $5 parking fee that includes the boat launch.

Anglers must have a valid Washington state freshwater or combination fishing license and a catch record card.