Meeting on Transferring Salmon to Lake Cushman Thursday

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will host a public meeting on the reintroduction of sockeye salmon into Lake Cushman using salmon eggs from Baker Lake.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., June 29, in the gymnasium of the Sedro-Woolley High School, 1235 3rd St, Sedro-Woolley.

Staff from WDFW, Puget Sound Energy and Tacoma Power will provide an overview of this collaborative effort to reestablish a sockeye population in Lake Cushman on the Olympic Peninsula. Sockeye have not been documented in the lake in decades.

Last year, 250,000 sockeye eggs were transferred from Baker Lake to the Saltwater Park Sockeye Hatchery along Hood Canal for release next spring into Lake Cushman. The eggs were taken from approximately 200 fish. The egg transfer last year was the first of several planned egg transfers.

Depending on the effort’s success, fishery managers hope to allow sockeye fisheries in the lake and Hood Canal area in the future.

As part of its federal license to operate hydroelectric dams on the Skokomish River, Tacoma Power has expanded its facilities and fish programs, including the reintroduction of sockeye into Lake Cushman. The utility is working with WDFW, local tribes and Puget Sound Energy, which operates the fish trap at Baker Lake.

WDFW has more information about Baker Lake sockeye on its website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/sockeye/baker river.html. More information about the sockeye transfer plan can be found online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/sockeye/files/draft_baker_lake_sockeye_egg_transfer_implementation_plan_mar2017.pdf.

Additional information on the Tacoma Public Utilities program can be found at https://www.mytpu.org/tacomapower/fish-wildlife-environment/cushman-hydro-project/cushman-fisheries-program.htm.

Additional information on the Puget Sound Energy program can be found at
https://pse.com/aboutpse/Environment/Pages/Fish.aspx.