The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced this afternoon it will host a public workshop to discuss sockeye salmon in Lake Washington. The focus of the May 26 meeting in Issaquah is to discuss a recent report that provides an analysis of data that could be used in determining management goals for sockeye salmon returning to Lake Washington and the Cedar River.
The workshop is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. at the department’s Issaquah Hatchery, 125 W. Sunset Way. Agency staff will discuss the report, which is based on an independent review Lake Washington sockeye salmon populations, including the Cedar River stock.
The report provides an independent assessment of the biological characteristics of Lake Washington sockeye, including productivity and returns per spawning fish, said Jim Scott, assistant director of the department’s fish program.
“This information provides a starting point for discussions with tribal co-managers, our constituents and other stakeholders about future sockeye salmon management in Lake Washington,” Scott said in a news release. “We’d like to hear from anglers and others interested in Lake Washington sockeye as we look into the productivity of these fish in the watershed and how we currently manage our sockeye fisheries there.”
The report, entitled “Cedar River and Lake Washington Sockeye Salmon Biological Reference Point Estimates,” is available on the department website.
The recreational sockeye fishery in Lake Washington last opened in 2006, when about 470,000 sockeye returned to the watershed. Currently, a return of more than 350,000 sockeye is needed before fishery managers will consider opening a recreational fishery in the lake.
During the 2009 counting period, just 21,718 fish returned. In 2008, the count was 33,629 fish, and 60,117 fish in 2007.