OLYMPIA - With a good chance of a summertime fishery for sockeye salmon in Lake Washington, fisheries managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) want anglers' help in shaping the possible season.
The department has set a public meeting for June 8 at the WDFW office in Mill Creek to hear angler preferences on daily bag limits, days of the week for the fishery and other regulations, said Tim Flint, WDFW statewide salmon resource manager.
"This will be an informational meeting only," Flint said. "No decisions about the fishery will be made until later this summer."
State and tribal fisheries co-managers won't schedule fisheries until they determine that the run will exceed 350,000 sockeye based on counts at the Ballard Locks. This year's forecast for sockeye is 485,000 fish, with the peak of the run coming in mid-July.
The meeting is set for 7-9 p.m. at the WDFW Mill Creek office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd. Biologists from WDFW, the tribes and other institutions have been studying the behavior of Lake Washington sockeye and will present some results of those studies at the Mill Creek evening meeting.
One example of these investigations is the work conducted by University of Washington researcher Jenny Newell, who has been tracking radio tagged adult sockeye as they migrate through the locks. That research will be conducted again this summer, and anglers will be asked to help in identifying tagged fish that might be caught if a fishery is opened this summer.
The last Lake Washington sockeye fishery occurred in July 2002, when about 10,000 anglers participated each day of the three-day fishery and caught more than 36,000 fish.