Reports, News, Sockeye

Washington Sockeye Update – Late July 2016

It is the last day of July and the sockeye runs across the state are winding down.  There is still some good fishing left, however, if you are willing to put in the time.

Wherever you are thinking about fishing for sockeye, be sure to check out the sockeye fishing tips.

Lake Washington

The Lake Washington run is coming in at about half the pre-season forecast.  56k fish, compared with the forecast of 119k.

Lake Washington Sockeye Totals Late July 2016

It seems like no one really knows why the sockeye returns are so low here, especially since the Columbia and Baker runs are doing so well.  I’m sure conditions in the lake and Puget Sound are major contributors, however.

Columbia River

This run beat estimates hands down.  340,000 sockeye have crossed Bonneville dam on their way upstream.  The pre-season forecast was 101,000 fish.

Bonneville Sockeye Totals Late July 2016

Most of these fish are on their way up the Okanogan river to Canada.  These can be intercepted places like Wells Dam and Brewster Pool.  However, about 65,000 have turned up the Wenatchee river, and can be targeted in Lake Wenatchee.

Lake Wenatchee Sockeye Late July 2016

Fishing tends to be good for these fish, but they do tend to be a bit beat up by the time they are that far up stream.   Be sure to check the regulations, as some of them are fairly restrictive.

Baker Lake

The run to Baker Lake started off strong, but died off really quickly.  The estimate was lowered from 56,000 to 40,000 fish.  As of this date 21k+ have made it to the fish trap.  We can’t compare this number directly to the estimates, since the tribes take their share before the fish reach the trap.

Baker Sockeye Totals Late July 2016

But what the new estimate, and the low daily counts, mean is that while we might see another thousand fish or so straggle in, the run is essentially done.

However the lake is open to fishing through August, and can be a lovely place to fish – even if the catching isn’t great.

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