Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

July 31, 2020

Baker Lake to close for sockeye

Action: Closes sockeye retention.

Effective date: August 3, 2020.

Species affected: Sockeye salmon.

Location: Baker Lake (Whatcom County).

Rule: Closed to fishing for or retaining sockeye.

Reason for action: Catch estimates indicate the number of fish remaining in Baker Lake is nearing the minimum 1,500 sockeye needed to spawn naturally.

Additional information: Baker Lake sockeye outperformed the preseason forecast and the lake was opened to recreational sockeye fishing on July 18 with 5,656 in the lake. More than 4,700 sockeye were retained the first week of the fishery.

WDFW and treaty co-managers agreed to a limited Baker Lake sockeye fishery provided catch did not exceed a level where less than 1,500 sockeye remained in the lake to spawn naturally (escapement).

Catch rates have decreased since the first week but based on total catch, the number of fish remaining in the lake is approaching the escapement floor of 1,500 fish and trap returns have slowed. This fishery is being closed to ensure conservation objectives are met.

WDFW will continue monitoring trap returns and will evaluate reopening sockeye retention if spawning goals can be assured.

Information contact: Mill Creek Regional Office, 425-775-1311

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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