2013 Lake Washington Sockeye Season?

lake union ship canal

Best numbers in 10 years to date, lets keep our fingers crossed for our sport season!

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks Sockeye Salmon Counts

Total for June 2013: 98,428

……. Daily Counts……Total Count
6/12…..2,778…………..2,778
6/13…..2,424…………..5,202
6/14…..1,285…………..6,487
6/15…..2,430…………..8,917
6/16…..3,081…………..11,997
6/17…..3,603…………..15,600
6/18…..3,851…………..19,541
6/19…..4,638…………..23,089
6/20…..2,961…………..27,050
6/21…..3,296…………..30,346
6/22…..10,782………….41,128
6/23…..12,936………….54,064
6/24…..5,545…………..58,608
6/25…..6,021…………..64,629
6/26…..5,577…………..70,206
6/27…..4,641…………..74,847
6/28…..5,314…………..80,162
6/29…..9,084…………..89,246
6/30…..9,182…………..98,428

July

7/1……5,135…………..103,563
7/2……5,194…………..108,757
7/3……5,185…………..113,942
7/4……3,309…………..117,251
7/5……3,257…………..120,508
7/6……2,988…………..123,496
7/7……6,543…………..130,039
7/8……3,791…………..133,830
7/9……4,532…………..138,362
7/10…..4,748…………..143,110
7/11…..4,130…………..147,240
7/12…..5,607…………..152,847
7/13…..4,191…………..157,038
7/14…..3,159…………..160,197
7/15…..2,112…………..162,309
7/16…..1,287…………..163,596
7/17…. 1,706…………..165,302
7/18…….697…………..165,999
7/19…..1,461…………..174,460
7/20…..1,311…………..175,771
7/21…..1,088…………..176,858

Lake Washington sockeye salmon have been counted each year since 1972 as they enter freshwater at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) counted the sockeye from 1972 through 1992, and currently Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and WDFW staffs conduct the counts cooperatively. Although small numbers of sockeye enter the system in May and early June, the period from the second week of June through the end of July is the standard counting interval used to determine if there are sufficient sockeye to open fishing seasons. Sockeye counts begin on June 12th each year to provide consistent data from year to year. The sockeye are sample counted daily during set time periods as they pass through both the locks and the fishway, and the counts are converted into a daily total number of fish passing upstream. In early July, State and Tribal managers begin to make weekly projections of the expected total run size based on the current total counts. When the co-managers believe that the total run size includes sufficient surplus fish above the escapement goal of 350,000 sockeye, sport and Tribal fishing seasons will be opened.

2013 Pre-season Sockeye Forecast

The pre-season forecast for the 2013 sockeye return is about 96,866. The estimate is based primarily upon fry production from the spawners in 2008, 2009, and 2010. Since lake and marine survival rates are highly variable from year to year, the actual return to Lake Washington could be higher or lower than 96,866.


lake washington sockeye salmon fishing

New Cedar River hatchery could help revive recreational sockeye fishery on Lake Washington

lip rippers fishing cedar river hatchery

The last time Lake Washington was open for sockeye fishing was the summer of 2006, when 470,000 fish returned, allowing sport-fishers and tribes to harvest about 60,000 each. Last summer, 144,989 sockeye were counted at the Ballard Locks, more than three times the pre-season forecast of sockeye expected to return to Lake Washington.
There were 19 million sockeye eggs taken this fall for the new Cedar River hatchery that began operating in September 2011, he said. The hatchery was built by the City of Seattle as compensation for denying sockeye access to the river above the city’s Landsburg water supply diversion dam.

Seattle has agreed with the federal government, state and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe to produce 34 million sockeye fry whenever there is enough broodstock to make this possible.

We need about 38 million eggs to get 34 million fry because of some mortality during hatchery incubation,This year we got about half the eggs Seattle needs to meet its obligation with about 13 million or more hatchery fry expected to reach the mouth of the Cedar by April.

The other half of the 2013 production equation is made up of sockeye fry produced by wild or natural-origin sockeye spawning in river.

Because there have not yet been significant floods that damage sockeye redds where eggs are incubating, there is the potential for 20 million or more natural-origin fry entering Lake Washington by early spring.

Combined with hatchery fry entering the lake, we could be close to the 35 million total fry that historical data suggests would give us a 50 percent chance of a fishery in 2016. That is a big deal. However, remember the flood gauntlet has another three months to go.

At issue, however, are broodstock collection and hatchery fry release decisions made by Seattle Public Utilities These elements are being debated by the Adaptive Management Work Group that advises the utility on the hatchery program.

sockeye fry released washington state cedar river

State record: The record sockeye caught in freshwater was a 10.63-pound fish landed by Gary Krasselt on Lake Washington on July 20, 1982.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply and Tight Lines!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s