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July 26, 2005
Contact: Tim Flint, (360) 902-2728

Lake Wenatchee sockeye return
means no sport fishery this year

OLYMPIA – The return of sockeye salmon to Lake Wenatchee is not strong enough to allow a summer recreational fishery in the lake, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Through July 24, approximately 11,000 Lake Wenatchee-bound sockeye were counted at Tumwater Dam on the Wenatchee River, well short of the number of fish needed for spawning escapement and a strong indication that the total run is too weak to open fishing.

“We are disappointed that this popular sport fishery will not be open this year, as it was in 2004,” said Tim Flint, WDFW statewide salmon manager. Last year, an estimated 4,748 anglers caught approximately 5,400 sockeye during a sport season that ran from July 24 through the end of August. Recreational fisheries also occurred on Lake Wenatchee in 2001 and 1993.

“With continued good spawning numbers, downstream passage conditions and marine survival we hope that returns in the future will allow a sport fishery on a more consistent basis,” Flint said.