Baker sockeye are native to Baker Lake and Baker River, a tributary to the Skagit River. Each year, sockeye returning to the lake are trapped below two dams before they are transported above the facilities where they are placed at artificial spawning beaches, used for production at the lake’s hatchery facility, or released into Baker Lake to spawn naturally.
Natural spawning takes place mostly in seeps and springs at the head end of the lake and in the lower Baker River, although some sockeye may also enter other tributaries. Fry from the artificial spawning beaches and from hatchery production are released into Baker Lake and Shannon Lake, where they rear naturally.
At the smolt stage, sockeye are captured at both the lower and upper dams and released downstream for their seaward journey.
Baker River 2022
Baker Lake, Action: Baker Lake, open July 9 through August 31.
Baker Lake, Rule: Min. size 18". Daily limit 2 sockeye. Release al salmon other than sockeye. Each angler aboard a vessel may deploy salmon angling gear until the salmon limit for all anglers aboard has been achieved.
Skagit River, Action: As of July 21, 2022, portion of the Skagit River to open for sockeye fishing, effective date: June 22 through July 29, 2022. Skagit River (Skagit Co.); from the Hwy. 536 bridge (Memorial Hwy Bridge) in Mt. Vernon to the Dalles Bridge at Concrete (CRC 830).
Skagit River, Rule: Min. size 12”. Daily limit 2 sockeye. Release all salmon other than sockeye. Night closure in effect. Selective gear rules are not in effect for salmon.
Reason for action: Harvestable numbers of sockeye are forecast to return to the Baker system.
Additional information: Selective gear rules remain in effect for gamefish. If anglers are not following selective gear rules, all species other than sockeye must be released. Please see pamphlet for gamefish rules in these sections. The current Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet is in effect through June 30, 2022. The 2022-2023 pamphlet goes into effect July 1, 2022. The new regulations should be available in late June.
Sockeye harvest in the river fishery will be limited to 20 percent of state share. The remaining 80 percent will be reserved for Baker Lake opportunity. The split was agreed to between anglers during public sockeye workshops held in 2014 and 2015. Current river sport share is over 1,600 fish, but the exact number could change with in-season run-size updates.
There will be periodic closures to prevent conflicts during tribal fisheries. In-season closures will be announced as soon as possible. Consider downloading the Fish Washington app or signing up for fishery change notifications by email at https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.
The fishery will be actively monitored by WDFW. Anglers are asked to cooperate with creel personnel collecting catch information. Monitoring and evaluation of fisheries is an important part of ensuring we are meeting our conservation goals for salmon.
Anglers should continue to regularly check the WDFW emergency rule updates web page and consider signing up for emailed regulation updates and rule change notifications for the latest information on Baker Lake. These web pages can be found at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/ and https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.
Puget Sound Energy employees operate and maintain the facilities at the Baker River Project under the directives of WDFW and tribal co-managers. These facilities not only include the hatchery and spawning beaches, but also an upstream trap-and-haul facility, and floating surface collectors for juvenile fish at Baker Lake and Lake Shannon.
Hatchery broodstock and natural spawner schedule
Fish that return to the Baker trap are prioritized to first meet our hatchery broodstock needs. Once the hatchery goal is met for the week, all remaining fish are transferred to Baker lake for the recreational fishery and to meet natural spawning goals in the lake.
2022 Hatchery Broodstock collection (8,500)
|Week||AI Goal||Beach Goal||Total Broodstock|
|6/6 - 6/12||0||0||0|
|6/13 - 6/19||14||9||23|
|6/20 - 6/26||181||121||302|
|6/27 - 7/03||563||375||938|
|7/4 - 7/10||1,094||730||1824|
|7/11 - 7/17||1,425||950||2375|
|7/18 - 7/24||958||638||1596|
|7/25 - 7/31||520||334||854|
|8/1 - 8/7||219||159||378|
|8/8 - 8/14||77||51||128|
|8/15 - 8/21||30||20||50|
|8/22 - 8/28||19||13||32|
Adult Baker sockeye enter the trap from mid-June to mid-October. Numbers of returning fish peak in mid-July. Spawning occurs from mid-September through December, peaking from late September to late November.
2022 daily counts
|Baker Lake||Broodstock||Spawn Beach||Total|
|6/1 - 6/15||1||0||0||1|
|Total number of fish transferred to Baker Lake||13,325||-||-||-|
|Total number of fish transferred to Broodstock||-||5,564||-||-|
|Total number of fish transferred to Spawning beach||-||-||3,388||-|
|Cumulative Total number of fish||-||-||-||
**Total Includes Trap Harvest
Baker River sockeye salmon trap counts
On touch devices, tap the data point to see the exact date and count. To zoom in or out on the chart, spread or pinch the chart area. Tap and drag the graph to pan the data left or right.
To view and compare counts from previous years, click/tap the year in the legend below the chart to toggle it on or off.
Baker River sockeye salmon trap counts by year