Anglers can comment on Baker Lake sockeye fishery

Anglers who took part in last summer’s sockeye salmon fishery at Baker Lake might want to attend a public meeting Nov. 1 in Mill Creek.

At the meeting, fishery managers from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will review how the sockeye fishery was developed and managed, and discuss this year’s state and tribal harvest numbers. There also will be time for attendees to share their input.

The Baker Lake sockeye fishery opened in 2010 after a juvenile-collection facility was installed at upper Baker Dam and a hatchery was opened at the lake, according to a department news release.

This year, 13,788 sockeye were trapped below the lower Baker Dam and 6,819 fish were transported to the lake. The remaining sockeye were used for spawning. This year’s actual return was well below the forecasted run of 35,377 sockeye.

“While we met our conservation goals for Baker Lake this year, we know many recreational anglers expected more fish in the lake,” Ron Warren, policy lead for the fish program, said in the release. “We’re asking the public for constructive ideas that we can evaluate and develop before the salmon season setting process starts in March.”

State, tribal and federal fishery managers plan the Northwest’s recreational and commercial salmon fisheries each year during a series of meetings beginning in March. The process, which includes input from representatives of the recreational and commercial fishing industries, is known as the North of Falcon process.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the department’s Mill Creek office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd.

The department has more information about Baker Lake sockeye at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/