Sockeye Begin Returning To Lake Washington, Skagit Systems

OK, I don’t want to jinx things, but the sockeye count at the _____ ____ is higher than it was at this point the last time we had a fishery on ___ _______.

Ahem.

Whether it’s an early start to the run or a bigger return than forecast or both, who can say, but for fishermen, it’s something to start watching.

WESTERN WASHINGTON SOCKEYE SLAYERS WILL AGAIN MOST LIKELY ONLY GET THEIR KICKS AT BAKER LAKE, WHERE BRANDY MCPHEE CAUGHT THIS ONE A FEW SEASONS AGO, BUT THE EARLY NUMBERS AT LAKE WASHINGTON ARE NOTABLE. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

The first unfilled blanks are of course Ballard Locks, where in the first three official days of counting, 2,341 have passed through on their way to Lake Washington (the second set of blanks), where it’s been more than a decade since the last season — 2006, when the tally through June 14 was 1,217.

“The fish look great — good condition and several very large individuals mixed in there,” notes WDFW’s Aaron Bosworth.

The official forecast is for 77,292 sockeye back to the locks, well shy of the 350,000 needed for escapement.

That means, you’re more likely to get your sockeye fix this season¬†at Baker Lake, where, surprise, surprise, the first of this year’s reds showed up at the trap today, according to a source.

Some 47,000 are expected back to the mouth of the Skagit, and a few are being caught in the lower river. Baker Lake opens July 8.

 

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