Fishing rules change June 12 on Cle Elum and Cooper lakes

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Actions:

1) Eliminates the 16 kokanee daily limit on Cle Elum Lake, and implements the statewide daily limit for trout, including kokanee, to five fish.

2) Adopt a minimum size limit of 9 inches and a maximum size limit of 15 inches for retention of kokanee in Cle Elum Lake and Cooper Lake.

Effective date: June 12, 2014.

Species affected: All trout, including kokanee.

Locations: Cle Elum Lake (Reservoir) and Cooper Lake in Kittitas Co.

Reason for action: The Yakama Nation and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are continuing the reintroduction of anadromous (sea-going) sockeye salmon in the upper Cle Elum basin. Eliminating the 16 kokanee daily limit in Lake Cle Elum and implementing the statewide lake daily limit for TROUT of 5 fish, including kokanee, is necessary to protect juvenile sockeye needed for this reintroduction effort. This is expected to reduce harvest of juvenile sockeye and increase harvest of other trout including non-native lake trout (mackinaw), eastern brook trout and brown trout.

Very few, if any, anadromous adult sockeye released by the Yakama Nation will be smaller than 16 inches, therefore a 15-inch maximum size limit will allow kokanee fisheries in both lakes to proceed without inadvertently harvesting adult sockeye dedicated to the reintroduction effort and needed for natural spawning in the fall. The 9-inch minimum size for retention will protect most juvenile anadromous sockeye rearing in the two lakes from being inadvertently harvested before they smoltify and migrate to the ocean.

Other information: The 12” minimum size for other trout species remains unchanged.

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