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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Lake Wenatchee sockeye season starts Saturday

Anglers boat a Columbia River sockeye salmon. (Rich Landers)
Anglers boat a Columbia River sockeye salmon. (Rich Landers)

FISHING -- The record run of sockeye up the Columbia River has made way for a salmon season on Lake Wenatchee starting Saturday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has just announced.

However, fires may block road access for the opener.

Action:   Lake Wenatchee opens for sockeye salmon fishing. 

Effective date: July 19, 2014 (one hour before official sunrise).

Species affected:   Sockeye salmon

Daily limit: The daily limit per angler is 6 sockeye, 12 inches in length or greater.  

Location:   Lake Wenatchee (Chelan Co.)

Reason for action:   Based on current sockeye passage at both Tumwater Dam and mainstem Columbia River Dams, at least 65,000 total sockeye are projected to be destined for Lake Wenatchee. This provides an estimated 42,000 sockeye to be available for harvest above the natural spawning escapement goal of 23,000 fish.  

Other information: Selective gear rules (up to three single barbless hooks per line, no bait or scent allowed, knotless nets required) in effect. Anglers may fish with 2 poles as long as they possess a valid two-pole endorsement.  A night closure will be in effect.  Legal angling hours are one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.  Bull trout, steelhead, and chinook salmon must be released unharmed without removing the fish from the water.

NOTE:   The Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishery may be closed on short notice depending on participation and catch rates.  Anglers are advised to check daily the fishing hotline at 360-902-2500 or WDFW’s website at

Anglers are required to possess a Columbia River Salmon/Steelhead Endorsement as part of their valid fishing license.  Revenue from the endorsement supports salmon or steelhead seasons on many rivers in the Columbia River system, including enforcing fishery regulations and monitoring the Columbia River fisheries.  The endorsement has generated more than $1 million annually for WDFW to maintain and increase fishing opportunities throughout the Columbia River basin. 

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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