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Ecology and salmon related articles

Big Sockeye Numbers on Columbia

by Mark Yuasa
Wenatchee World, July 12, 2012

An adult sockeye leaps upstream en route to natal spawning grounds. The summer sockeye season is about to pick up as 500,355 have passed above Bonneville Dam, surpassing the 462,000 preseason figure.

Gangbuster sockeye fishing is expected soon in the Upper Columbia above Rocky Reach, below Wells Dam and in the Brewster Pool.

In other river angling, steelhead fishing has been "pretty good from Longview downstream (in the Lower Columbia), and more are hatchery fish," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. "The Cowlitz River was pretty decent with half-a-steelhead per rod for boat anglers at Blue Creek, and bank guys were getting some below barrier dam."

Fishing report

Statewide rivers

It's been fair for sturgeon between Woodland and Longview; open Thursdays to Saturdays for catch-and-keep fishing. Good for sockeye in Lower Skagit River despite high water conditions; the fishery ends after Sunday. Fair for steelhead in the Skykomish. Slow for chinook in Skagit above Rockport and Cascade River; both close after Sunday. Cedar River is open for trout catch-and-release.

Hatchery chinook fishing will open from the Skykomish River mouth to Wallace River mouth July 14-Aug. 15.

Statewide lakes

"Quite a few sockeye moving up Baker River, and there are 2,660 in the trap, but we've only moved 330 fish into Baker Lake," said Brett Barkdull, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. "I wouldn't tell anybody to fish the lake yet, but once we transfer more, then it will be time to go. Keep an eye on the site ( ) for updates."

Good for big cutthroat trout up to 20 inches at Grimes Lake. Good for lake trout in Lake Chelan. Good for kokanee at Lake Stevens. Good for walleye and perch in Sprague Lake. Potholes Reservoir is fair to good for trout, bass and walleye. Lake Goodwin and Shoecraft are good for big trout.

Mark Yuasa
Big Sockeye Numbers on Columbia
Wenatchee World, July 12, 2012

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