Sockeye Season Crowds Anglers at Baker Lake
Sockeye season opens July 1 and Forest Service staff are bracing for mobs of anglers who will flock to Baker Lake on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Fishing enthusiasts will be sharing the lake with swimmers, canoes and kayakers, while coexisting on shore with hikers, picnickers and campers. Throughout the season last year more than 4,000 trailers jammed parking lots and boat launches, as 9,300 fishermen tried their luck catching salmon. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is opening the season earlier than last year, and crowds are expected to be bigger than ever overlapping with Independence Day. Sockeye season closes Sept. 4.
The first three weeks of the fishing season are the busiest, according to Carol Gladsjo, public services manager for the forest. “Come during the week. Peak times are weekends, with 200-300 boats arriving in the early morning,” she said. All of the Forest Service boat ramps are within campgrounds. Gladsjo asks anglers to be considerate of the campers at sites surrounding the lake. People coming to fish arrive as early as 4:30 a.m. and campsite quiet hours don’t end until 8 a.m.
Parking is limited at four boat ramps along the lake: Kulshan Campground, Horseshoe Cove, Panorama Point and Swift Creek. Visitors can purchase day-use passes at the boat ramps for $5 per day or $30 for the season. Overnight fees are $9. Boat launching and parking at Shannon Creek Campground are reserved for registered campers. Staff from Hoodoo Recreation Services, Forest Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Whatcom County will be in the area to assist visitors.
For more information contact Mt. Baker Ranger District, 360-856-5700.
A map showing parking and guidelines is available online.
Camping is at Hoodoo Recreation.
Camping reservations at 877-444-6777.
Puget Sound Energy recreation facilities at 360-853-8341.
Fishing Regulations at 360-902-2500.