Odds that we’ll have a summer of Seattle salmon insanity are looking longer and longer with the latest sockeye counts, but the numbers are still a positive.
Through July 1 a total of 59,036 sockeye have entered the Ballard Locks since counting began in mid-June, a figure that not only trumps the preseason prediction of 45,871 but also is better than total tallies for three of the past four years (and is all but certain to best five of the past seven runs).
Saturday, June 30, also saw the best one-day count of the season so far, 6,529.
It’s really good news for egg collection at the new hatchery.
But the run’s pace slid against the last year we had a fishery, 2006. That season a total of 70,017 had gone through by July 1.
As for other years we’ve fished, 119,000 had gone through by now in 2004, 88,000 in 2002 and a whopping 205,000 in 2000.
By contrast two nonfishery years — 2003 and 2001 — actually had better through-July 1 counts than this summer, 65,000 and 134,000.
A total of 350,000 are required to hold a sport fishery.
This year’s forecast was based on low fry counts in Lake Washington in 2008, but jack returns last summer indicated good ocean survival for this year-class.