Most sockeye salmon spawn near lakes and exhibit a wide variety of life history patterns. Their low fecundity is countered by a large production of eggs that get buried, making them fairly resistant to natural and fishing pressures. Sockeye stocks are healthy in Alaska, but the populations in California, the Canadian Pacific, Oregon, and Washington have experienced declines over the past 50 years due to habitat loss, climate change, pollution, introduced species, overfishing and dam construction.
Sockeye in Lake Ozette, Washington, are listed as threatened and Snake River sockeye are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
The reefnet fishery around Lummi Island and San Juan Island in Washington divides salmon into four managed groups with different run-times. Early summer and summer sockeye there have the lowest conservation concern while late-run has the highest because the Cultus Lake sockeye is endangered in Canada, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium.