The salmon runs through the Ballard Locks are up from the past two years, but still below levels needed to permit recreational salmon fishing in Lake Washington. The salmon runs last met the minimum numbers in 2006. Distant Columbia River sockeye salmon are returning in record numbers through the Bonneville Dam, but that success hasn’t translated to our local fish populations yet.
As an interesting historical and habitat note, Lake Washington sockeye salmon were artificially introduced by the state in the 1930s to create a fishery and provide lifecycle nutrients for riverbank plants. Most start in the Cedar River, while others are released from local hatcheries. Hopefully the numbers will continue increasing!

Cedar River Lake Washington sockeye salmon

Lake Washington and Cedar River sockeye salmon in spawning colors

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