Sockeye Fishing in Lake Washington

Sockeye Fishing in Lake Washington
Lake Washington is on the east side of Seattle in Washington. It provides a variety of recreational opportunities, including fishing, boating, rowing, swimming and skiing. Lake Washington is a popular place to catch crustaceans, including crawfish. But the lake's sockeye salmon present the most challenging catch for anglers.


Sockeye salmon also are referred to as silver trout. They are prevalent in the lake, especially during spawning season in the fall. Sockeye need a lake for spawning, and Lake Washington is one of several in the state that has the proper grounds. New sockeye will remain in the lake for a couple of years before heading back out toward the ocean. A fisherman sometimes might find a sockeye in the tributaries near the lake.


The Lake

Lake Washington covers 22,000 acres and is the second-largest lake in the state. Because it was created by a glacier passing through the area, it is long and narrow. The lake has access points at various towns along the banks, including Kirkland, Bellevue, Renton and Seward Park. Salmon are found throughout the lake, but in summer, a productive place to fish is the area where the water is flowing out of the lake. This is where the summer runs enter.


Within the waters of Lake Washington, sockeye that are less than 15 inches long are considered kokanee, and those 15 inches or longer are considered sockeye. Kokanee is another name for a silver trout. As trout, the sockeye have a daily limit of five and must be at least 12 inches long from March 1 through June 30 as well as Dec. 1 through Feb. 28. All other times, as trout, the state limit is still five, but there is no minimum size. As salmon, the sockeye limit and minmum size vary by year. If state officials aren't expecting a good run of fish in a specific year, anglers will not be allowed to keep sockeye. In 2009, no sockeye could be kept during the fishing season. There is no fishing within 300 feet of a floating bridge nor in designated areas near the Lake Washington shipping canal.


Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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