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July 25, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2253

Lake Wenatchee to remain closed to sockeye fishing to protect spawning salmon

WENATCHEE -- There will be no recreational Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishing season this year, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.

While almost 45,000 sockeye have passed Bonneville Dam, very few of the fish are migrating up the Wenatchee River to the lake.

Joe Foster, regional fish biologist in Ephrata, also noted the sockeye run is late this year, possibly because water flows in the Columbia River have been high.

It appears approximately 14,000 sockeye might reach Lake Wenatchee where the spawning goal is about 25,000 salmon. The balance of the migrating sockeye are expected to continue to the Okanogan River system.

While Lake Wenatchee has not had a sockeye fishery since 1993 to protect spawning fish, Foster said the number of reproducing salmon this summer may exceed any year since 1993.