WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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September 25, 1996
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, 360-902-2256

Lake Washington coho season opens Tuesday

SEATTLE -- A Lake Washington coho salmon recreational fishing season will open at an hour before sunrise on Tuesday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.

The season is scheduled to remain open through Nov. 30. Fishing opens an hour before sunrise and closes an hour after sunset each day. The daily bag limit is two coho. Anglers may fish only north of the Highway 520 Bridge. The area south of the bridge is closed in order to protect sockeye salmon concentrating near the Cedar River at the south end of the lake.

Sockeye and chinook must be released.

The Lake Washington coho season is possible because more hatchery fish than are needed to meet spawning goals already have passed through the Ballard Locks. Biologists for the Muckleshoot Tribe counted 14,400 coho through the locks as of last Thursday.

The department's spawning goal for Issaquah Creek and hatchery is 4,800 coho. The department expects 8,000 wild coho to spawn in the watershed. That is double the number of coho that spawned last year.

Department biologists said the Lake Washington fishery will not harm what may be an unexpectedly weak coho run migrating into southern Puget Sound because anglers will be targeting salmon already in the lake.

Fish managers last winter predicted a south Sound run of 543,000 coho. It now appears only 190,000 fish may migrate through Marine Area 10 to Areas 11 and 13.

Because of concerns that the south Sound coho run is 65 percent below earlier expectations, the department canceled a non-Indian net fishery scheduled for the Tacoma area Monday night.

Department biologists also noted tribal coho fisheries targeting on the Lake Washington coho will be held in inner Shilshole Bay so they will not harvest salmon moving into the southern Sound.

Anglers should check the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for additional regulations applying to recreational fishing in Lake Washington.