Sky Question

I was out fishing the Sky July 4th. We had a few hook ups but no steel to the boat. However, we did catch something quite interesting. At first we thought it was a really early pink but after a closer look it was a Sockeye. WTF is a sockeye doing in the Sky? Anyone heard of this before?
You will see a couple of them from time to time. I don't fish the Sky a whole heck of a lot. But I have seen them high up in Skagit tributaries and in the Stilly during the late summer.


Active Member
A few sockeye are found in virtually all the region's anadromous rivers. Those fish typically are different that those found in various lake populations (Lake Washington, Baker, etc.). They typically are earlier spawners (August/September) and are not using lakes as part of the life history strategy. Though it is pretty common to find them spawning in the exact same location from year to year.

One interesting twist is that the various river populations seem to share a common genetic background that is different from the various lake populations. One theory is that these river "populations" are the colonizing fish for the species. These fish are constantly probing river habitats and if they stumble upon new or vacant habitats (large lake systems) for the more a traditional population they take advantage of that habitat and through the natural selection process they quite evolve into an unique lake dwelling population.

They occasionally show up in surprising numbers in unexpected locals. One such case was upper Deer Creek on the North Fork Stillaguamish where several hundred were observed one year in the 1984 and a handful in 1985. To my knowledge sockeye had been seen in the basin for decades prior to or after those min-1980s observation.

It probably is good to remember that these various anadromous salmonids have been quite successful for eons using these type of strategies that may not make much sense in the short term but are essential for long term survival. Don't forget that just 12,000 most of our river valleys were under a mile or more of ice.
above the lake,pretty bear'ry and credit cards dont work out there , so no rei wannabe's need apply ! Ruth to chilly 30 miles rt and a small window to get there.