Lake Cle Elum proposal geared to help efforts to recover native fishery

Tri-City Herald –

Sport anglers could catch more non-native trout in Lake Cle Elum and give sockeye a leg up in the process under a proposed change to fishery regulations.

The proposal by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife would eliminate the existing two-fish catch limit on three non-native trout – lake trout, also known as mackinaw, brown trout and eastern brook trout – that prey on the juvenile salmon. And, it would restrict catching another trout – kokanee – to reduce accidental harvest of the similar looking sockeye.

Fish and Wildlife is collecting public comments on the proposed changes. John Easterbrooks, regional fish program manager, said the response so far has been positive.

“Most people, 12 out of 13, are in favor because it helps reintroduce sockeye and helps native fish recovery,” Easterbrooks said. “Right now, a two-fish limit is really holding back our ability to reduce the mackinaw population.”

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