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MONDAY, AUG. 27, 2012, 7:03 A.M.

Lake Wenatchee sockeye on Labor Day agenda

The Gallo family of Puyallup display a nice catch of Brewster Pool sockeye salmon. (Anton Jones)
The Gallo family of Puyallup display a nice catch of Brewster Pool sockeye salmon. (Anton Jones)

 SALMON FISHING -- Although the the season still could be closed on short notice, it appears as though Lake Wenatchee will be open to sockeye fishing through Labor Day, thanks to a record-busting run to the upper Columbia River.

About 50,000 sockeye have turned into the Wenatchee River of the 63,000 predicted to make this year's run to Lake Wenatchee. Going into the past weekend, anglers had caught only about 7,000 of their 23,000 quota.

The daily limit hs been bumped from three to five sockeye 12 inches in length or greater.

Fish counters have tallied a whopping record of 515,666 sockeye over Bonneville Dam, the first hydro project the fish encounter on their run from the Pacific into the Columbia River. That shatters the previous  record of 386,505 in 2010.

The count at Rock Island Dam on the mid-Columbia is 410,498 sockeye. Rock Island is the seventh and final dam the sockeye climb before a portion of the run turns into the Wenatchee River.

Most Columbia sockeye continues upstream over Rocky Reach and Wells dams before heading up the Okanogan River. More than 363,200 sockeye had been counted at Rocky Reach last week. That’s more than triple the 10-year average count.

The Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishery could be closed on short notice depending on how many fish anglers catch this week.

Anglers are advised to check daily the Fishing Hotline at 360-902-2500 or the Fishing Update Web page.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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