OLYMPIA – An unprecedented catch of 36,000 sockeye salmon during the July 26-28 recreational fishery on Lake Washington means there are not enough fish left to support additional sport fishing for sockeye this season, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Tim Flint, WDFW State Salmon Manager, said approximately 10,000 anglers per day participated in the fishery, the first since 2000.
"It was great to be able to provide anglers with this unexpected opportunity to fish for sockeye this year," he said. "Not only were there huge crowds of fishers throughout the three-day fishery, but they were also very successful."
The sockeye run is continuing to enter the Lake Washington system through the Ballard Locks. Nearly 21,000 sockeye passed into the system July 26-28, giving fisheries managers further proof that this year's return is stronger and later than previously thought.
The latest estimate is that approximately 414,000 sockeye will pass through the locks, including fish entering the Lake Washington system in August and September.
Despite the end of sockeye salmon fishing in Lake Washington, there are several freshwater salmon-fishing opportunities coming soon to the region. Lake Sammamish opens for chinook and coho fishing Aug. 16, and the north end of Lake Washington opens for coho fishing Sept. 16. Sockeye must be released in both of these fisheries.
Treaty Indian fishers have taken an additional 13,000 sockeye to date, with additional fisheries scheduled.
More Lake Washington sockeye-related information can be found on the WDFW website on Internet.