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Lake Wenatchee open for sockeye fishing

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Aug. 6, 2008 at 10:15 am with No Comments »
August 6, 2008 10:15 am

If you have nothing to do today and want to try and escape the smog, head over to Lake Wenatchee. For the first time since 2004, the lake is open for recreational sockeye salmon fishing.

The fishery, open daily, will likley close on short notice when the harvest quota is reached, said Jeff Korth, north-central region fish program manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, in a news release.

Harvest and fish counts at Tumwater Dam will determine the season’s length, Korth said. To date, more than 24,000 sockeye have been counted at Tumwater Dam on the Wenatchee River. The number of fish needed for spawning is 23,000 fish.

The daily limit per angler is two sockeye, at least 12 inches long. Sockeye with a colored, plastic tag near the dorsal fin, as well as all bull trout, steelhead and chinook salmon, must be released unharmed without removing them from the water, said the release.

Selective-gear rules are in effect on Lake Wenatchee, except that fishing from a boat equipped with a motor is allowed, the release said. No more than three barbless hooks are allowed, no bait nor scent may be used, and the use of knotless nets for landing fish is required. Angling is allowed from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Anglers must have a valid Washington freshwater or combination fishing license and a catch record card.

There is very limited public access at the lake, northwest of Wenatchee off Highway 207, the release said. There is a small, primitive boat launch on U.S. Forest Service property and a boat launch at Lake Wenatchee State Park, but parking is limited.

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