Though pre-season estimates said there weren’t going to be enough, the Skagit’s Baker River sockeye salmon run is returning in numbers sufficient to allow sport anglers at least one brief crack at them.
Starting one hour before sunrise Friday, July 16 anglers may fish for and keep sockeye in the Skagit from the vicinity of the mouth of the Baker downstream to the Dalles Bridge. The lower Baker also is open from its mouth upstream to the banks under the Lowell Peterson Bridge (SR 20).
This three-calendar day opening closes one hour after sunset Sunday, July 18.
Anglers may keep up to two sockeye salmon each day, while releasing all chinook and other salmon. Legal gamefish may be retained, too. The anti-snagging and night closure rules will govern this salmon opening in this section of the Skagit. Permanent regulations (found on pages 35-37 of the Fishing in Washington pamphlet) remain in effect elsewhere on the Skagit River.
Targeted commercial openings also will take place on the Skagit to allow tribal fishers to catch their share of the harvestable surplus of the 2010 sockeye run.
State and tribal managers are cooperating to allow these opportunities and will consider further options including a Baker Lake fishery if the sockeye run strength persists.
The upper Skagit’s spring chinook sport fishery (from Rockport to Marblemount) closes Thursday, July 15 and anglers will get a more extensive opportunity for Skagit coho beginning in September.