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State imposes size limit for kokanee on Cle Elum and Cooper lakes

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Aug. 4, 2010 at 9:51 am |
August 4, 2010 9:51 am

Anglers need to be aware that the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has adopted a maximum size limit of 14 inches total length for kokanee in Cle Elum Lake and Cooper Lake.

The size limit is effective through Oct. 31, and covers just kokanee, which are landlocked sockeye salmon.

The state news release said the Yakama Nation and department are continuing a pilot study, which began in 2009, for reintroduction of anadromous sockeye salmon in the upper Cle Elum Basin. In July, 2,000 adult sockeye salmon trapped at Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River were released into Cle Elum Lake. An additional 500 sockeye were transported to Cooper Lake near Salmon La Sac. The outlet of Cooper Lake (Cooper River) flows into the Cle Elum River upstream to Lake Cle Elum. A percentage of the fish will be released with radio-tags so they can be tracked to understand their pre-spawning behavior and their migration patterns as they travel into the upper Cle Elum River and upper Cooper River to select spawning habitat, the release said. Few anadromous sockeye will be smaller than 16 inches and few landlocked kokanee are greater than 12 inches, therefore a 14-inch size threshold will allow the fisheries in both lakes to proceed this summer without inadvertently harvesting valuable sockeye dedicated to the reintroduction effort, the state said.

The kokanee daily limit in Lake Cle Elum remains the same, 16 kokanee, no minimum size). The daily limit for trout, including kokanee, remains five fish in Cooper Lake.

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