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I thought some of you may like to read a few questions from my friend Dr. Kokanee. The questions are re: kokanee in our state and the reply is from WDFW district biologist for Pierce County.

from Dr. Kokanee
what is the current status of ouor kokanee program? I know the american
lake fish are getting help by re-juvinating the creek that runs into it?
also, years ago, thes fish in this lake were huge! what caused them to
shrink? can we get broodstock from otherstates, which have larger fish?
kokanee are not known for carryng disease, as their cousins the sockeye
are, so should be no trouble. get them from strawbeery, or bass lakes.
our kokanee size in this sate of ours is an embarrasedment. also, we
need bonus limits re-instated! too many kokes equals smaller fish, also.
a reply would be greatly appreciated. just because kokanee are not
commercial fish, is no reason not to put money and effort into them.
sport equals tax dollars.

And the State's reply
Thank you for your e-mail correspondence to the Washington Department of
Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Fish Program. The following response has been
provided to you by Mike Scharpf, the WDFW district biologist for Pierce
County. Mike is based out of the WDFW headquarters building in Olympia.

Mr. White. Thank you for your questions and concerns about WDFW's
kokanee program. You are correct that kokanee should be and are
important to the WDFW Fish Program. The WDFW stocks kokanee in 37 lakes
in Washington, with a goal of 10 to 13 million fish. We also provide
kokanee to Idaho, Oregon, and California when they request fish. We are
currently working on different broodstock sources from more regionalized
areas throughout the state. As for kokanee in American Lake, reports
from 2007 indicate that fish were quite large, most fish in the 15 to 16
inch size range. In any state these would be considered large fish.
There seems to be a cycle of some sort in American Lake when large fish
are produced every couple years. Kokanee are tough to manage due to the
multi-age class population structure. Broodstock generally do not
determine fish size, lake productivity and population have more to do
with fish growth. The WDFW currently does not import kokanee from other
states. There would be many hoops to jump through to bring in fish from
outside the state. As stated above, managing kokanee is not easy. In
some years survival may be better than expected, leading to a larger
population, then contributing to smaller growth rates, and in turn
smaller fish. One way to manage this is a bonus limit. However, bonus
limit is a reactionary management tool to current situations, like over
populations of small fish. This is not a management tool to apply
annually. Yes, bonus limit is a management tool that needs to be
considered each year. The WDFW will pay attention to fisheries, such
as kokanee, especially when we hear from interested parties like
yourself. I hope I provided helpful information and answers to your
questions. Again, thank you for your comments and concerns.

Please make sure you check for emergency rule changes before you
harvest as follows:

Fishing Rule Change Hotline at (360) 902-2500
Shellfish Rule Change Hotline at 1-866-880-5431
Or, try our new searchable emergency rule link off our website at:

Additionally, for shellfish, make sure to call the Dept. of Health
Marine Toxins PSP Hotline at 1-800-562-5632.

If you have further questions, please email again or call (360)
902-2700. Our Customer Service hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday
through Friday.

Fish Program

423 Posts
That is very interesting. When I bought my house 26 years ago (1- block from the Vetrans Drive Park and boat launch) my neighbor would come home from the lake with a limit of HUGE kokanee....Every week he would consistantly have Ford Fender and homemade spinner caught big kokes.....each year or so there would be less, usually big times I would watch the state biologists take algea samples from the lake when i was out trolling for the bigguns..they said they would plant the frye when algea blooms were maximum?? Don't see that anymore, so they can not be doing much management now??

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