THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE
The Cedar River Council will host an important meeting on Tuesday, April 23. at 7 p.m. at the Renton Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center (1 South Grady Way) about the very popular Lake Washington sockeye fisheries which had been largely supported by the Cedar River sockeye run produced by natural spawning and a temporary Cedar River hatchery that began operation in 1991 followed by a permanent hatchery constructed by Seattle Public Utilities in 2011.
No Lake Washington recreational sockeye fisheries have been allowed since 2006 when more than 50,000 sockeye were taken by sport anglers over an eighteen day season. That year the number of sockeye surging through the Ballard Locks exceeded 400,000.
The 2019 run is forecast at only 15,000, the lowest forecast ever. There have been no directed harvest fisheries for the last 13 years.
The public meeting will include presentations by the Department of Fish and Wildlife and Seattle Public Utilities on the history of the introduced sockeye run, fabulous periodic sport fishing from the early 1970s until 2006, and the likely reasons the run has collapsed.
The role of the sockeye hatchery will be covered. What might be done to restore the run to harvestable levels and the possibilities this could happen will be discussed.
Puget Sound Anglers and other organizations have worked hard over the years to secure recreational sockeye fisheries, and engaged as strong advocates for the permanent Cedar River sockeye hatchery.
Coastal Conservation Association was instrumental in securing funding for a Lake Washington juvenile sockeye predation study that provided important scientific data.