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Reports > 2012 > August > Friday 24
Friday, August 24, 2012
By Dave Graybill
This has been a banner year for salmon fishing here in Central Washington. Sockeye salmon returns have been the big story this season, with a record return to the upper Columbia River. Over 300,000 have passed over Wells Dam and there are still fish trickling up the system. The return of sockeye to Lake Wenatchee has been astonishing, too. Early estimates were for 30,000 fish and now it appears that over 60,000 are going to make their way over Tumwater Dam and into the lake. The bag limit on sockeye has been raised to five fish per day and the season extended through Labor Day weekend to encourage anglers to help thin the numbers of excess hatchery fish. Summer run salmon numbers are healthy as well. Over 50,000 have passed over Priest Rapids Dam and 30,000 over Wells Dam, so there are still a couple of hundred fresh fish a day making their way up river to the Brewster Pool and on up the Okanogan River. More good news for salmon anglers is that it appears that the fall run fish are going to show up in slightly higher numbers than last year. Fall fishing at White Bluffs and below Wanapum Dam should be good to excellent again this season.