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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 13, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Lake Chelan opens soon for chinook fishing

At Lake Chelan not only are the huge lake trout (aka Mr. Mackinaw) fair game, but anglers can soon add landlocked chinook salmon to their spring and summer catch.

The huge watershed east of the Cascades will open April 15, and remain open until further notice. All parts of the lake are open to fishing, except within 400 feet of the mouths of all tributaries.

State Fish and Wildlife stocks the lake with a relatively small number of triploid, sterile chinook. It also includes some naturally reproducing chinook that spawn in the Stehekin River at the north end of the lake.

The fish average 10 to 12 pounds with some pushing the 20 pound mark. The chinook feed on school of abundatnt freshwater shrimp.

Downriggers are a must in this fishery as you start off fishing the morning hours in the top 50 feet of water, but as the day goes on they can go down as deep as 200 feet.

Like their saltwater brothers, a whole or plug-cut herring works behind a flasher. Also plugs and spoons catch their share of fish.

The minimum size limit is 15 inches with a daily limit of one salmon. No catch record card is needed.

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