The Lake Washington sockeye salmon counts at the Ballard Locks have started. The count began Friday. When I checked this morning, there were 1,332 sockeye counted as of Sunday (the most recent day’s count posted).
According to a state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the pre-season forecast for the 2009 sockeye return is about 19,300. That is well below the 350,000 fish needed before sport and Tribal fishing seasons will be opened.
Sockeye have been counted each year since 1972 as they enter freshwater at the locks. The count, now done by the Muckleshoot Tribe, runs from the second week of June through the end of July.