Lake Wenatchee and Wenatchee River to open for sockeye fishing amid strong returns

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WDFW North Central region: 509-754-4624

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Updated July 28, 2022 to clarify rules and open sections on the Wenatchee River. 

OLYMPIA – Amid a record return of sockeye salmon to the Columbia River, fishery managers in Washington’s North Central region announced that sockeye fishing will open on Lake Wenatchee and the Wenatchee River in the days ahead.

As of July 22, the escapement goal of 23,000 sockeye passing over Tumwater Dam on the Wenatchee River had already been met, with thousands more expected to be available for harvest, said Chad Jackson, North Central Fish Program Manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“This year’s strong return should offer plenty of sockeye opportunity on Wenatchee Lake and in the Wenatchee River, which is great news for this popular fishery,” Jackson said. “We’ll continue monitoring the run to ensure we’re meeting our conservation goals, but things are looking very good for this year’s season.”

The Lake Wenatchee fishery will open from July 28 through Aug. 31, with a daily limit of four sockeye (minimum size 12 inches). Anglers must release all bull trout, steelhead, and Chinook salmon unharmed and without removing the fish from the water. Selective gear rules are in effect -- up to three single barbless hooks per line, no bait or scent allowed, knotless nets required. Two-pole fishing is allowed with a valid two-pole endorsement.

The Wenatchee River will also open for sockeye retention from the mouth to the Icicle Road Bridge from Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, with no more than two adult hatchery Chinook and up to four sockeye (minimum size 12 inches) allowed to be retained as part of the six-fish daily limit. Anglers must release coho and wild adult Chinook. Selective gear rules are in effect, except use of bait/scent is allowed. Two-pole fishing is not allowed in the river fishery.

A night closure is in effect for both Lake Wenatchee and the Wenatchee River.

 For more information, visit WDFW’s emergency regulations page at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/emergency-rules. For additional permanent regulations, see the 2022-23 Washington Sport Fishing pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.