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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

May 3, 2011 at 2:26 PM

More on the statewide lowland lakes trout fishing opener

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I’ve written plenty over the past few days about the lowland lakes trout opener from this past weekend, but for those who want more: Here is the state Fish and Wildlife press release that came out this morning:

Washington’s lowland lakes fishing season opener last Saturday provided anglers a slightly better-than-average catch rate of trout.

Based on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff and volunteer creel checks of 4,305 anglers with 10,372 trout at 111 lakes statewide, the average catch rate was 2.4 trout per angler, with many more trout caught and released during the day.

In the past five years, similar numbers of opening day anglers checked at similar numbers of lakes averaged closer to 2.2 trout per angler, state Fish and Wildlife Inland Fish Program manager Jim Uehara said in a news release.

“As usual, spring weather varied across the state and even across counties throughout the day,” Uehara said. “Wind or rain may have cut some fishing trips short, but for the most part, weather didn’t keep anglers away and didn’t keep fish from biting.”

It was mostly warm, sunny and calm at Warden Lake, in northcentral Washington’s Grant County, where the highest catch-per-angler average – 4.7 – was recorded on opening day. Based on the five-trout daily catch limit, there were lots of limits caught at Warden, said Chad Jackson, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Ephrata. Not only was fishing “phenomenal,” he said, but so was fish size, with yearling rainbow trout averaging 14 inches and others up to 17 inches.

Long Lake in Thurston County yielded lots of quick and early limits. But the official creel check, from 8 a.m. to noon, showed an average of 3.63 trout per angler. The catch rate measured at Mineral Lake in Lewis County was less than two trout per angler, but many were large fish, including a 26-incher.

Other lakes with the highest catch-per-angler averages were: Riley Lake (4.64) in Snohomish County; Aldrich (4.60) and Maggie (4.37) lakes in Mason County; Fishtrap Lake (4.32) in Lincoln County; Toad Lake (4.27) in Whatcom County; Deep Lake (4.17) in Thurston County; Cottage (4.10) and Walker (3.89) lakes in King County; Wannacut Lake (3.83) in Okanogan County; Blue Lake (3.80) in Grant County; and Starvation Lake (3.78) in Stevens County.

Here is a rundown of the statewide lowlands lakes opener with catch results from this past Saturday, April 30:

Chelan County: Wapato, 39 anglers with 92 trout kept, 2.36 fish per rod (Windy and cool on the opener and triploids were 17 inches).

Douglas County: Jameson, 53 anglers with 100 trout, 1.89 fish per rod (Yearling rainbows were 10 inches and the triploids were 17 inches).

Ferry County: Ellen, 29 anglers with 31 trout, 1.07 fish per rod (Poor growth on 2010 fry plants averaging 7-8 inches. Reports from anglers that green sunfish and largemouth bass were numerous again by last summer).

Grays Harbor County: Aberdeen, 88 anglers with 187 trout, 2.13 fish per rod (Sunny and better fishing than last year. A 6 pound trout won the derby); Failor, 60 anglers with 127 trout, 2.12 fish per rod (Lots of happy anglers); Stump, 35 anglers with 37 trout, 1.06 fish per rod; Sylvia, 27 anglers with 37 trout, 1.37 fish per rod; Vance Creek Pond 1, 33 anglers with 27 trout, 0.82 fish per rod (a 7 pound trout won the derby); Vance Creek Pond 2, 35 anglers with 53 trout, 1.51 fish per rod (Better fishing than last year).

Island County: Deer, 6 anglers with 10 trout, 1.67 fish per rod.

Jefferson County: Anderson, 64 anglers with 103 trout, 1.61 fish per rod (Fewer fish than last year, but a beautiful day); Horseshoe, 22 anglers with seven trout, 0.32 fish per rod; Ludlow, 32 anglers with three trout, 0.09 fish per rod; Sandy Shore, 89 anglers with 298 trout, 3.35 fish per rod; Tarboo, 38 anglers with 83 trout, 2.18 fish per rod (Happy anglers with lots of five-fish limits; Rainbow broodstock to 20 inches).

King County: Cottage, 41 anglers with 168 trout, 4.10 fish per rod (1.6 in 2010); Geneva, nine anglers with 32 trout, 3.56 fish per rod (5.0 in 2010); Langlois, 37 anglers with 107 trout, 2.89 fish per rod (3.1 in 2010); Margaret, 39 anglers with 103 trout, 2.64 fish per rod (2.9 in 2010); North, 33 anglers with 62 trout, 1.88 fish per rod (1.0 in 2010); Pine, 82 anglers with 213 trout, 2.60 fish per rod (2.3 in 2010); Steel, 27 anglers with 88 trout, 3.26 fish per rod (3.9 in 2010); Walker, 19 anglers with 74 trout, 3.89 fish per rod (1.4 in 2010); Wilderness, 26 anglers with 60 fish, 2.31 fish per rod (2.7 in 2010).

Kitsap County: Buck, 20 anglers with 43 trout, 2.15 fish per rod; Horseshoe, 39 anglers with 111 trout, 2.85 fish per rod; Mission, 43 anglers with 152 trout, 3.53 fish per rod (Rainbow broodstock to 16 inches); Panther, 31 anglers with 111 trout, 3.58 fish per rod (Good day and larger fish than last year); Wildcat, 78 anglers with 210 trout, 2.69 fish per rod (Most anglers satisfied — decent weather — Rainbows up to 22 inches); Wye, 37 anglers with 127 trout, 3.43 fish per rod (Cold weather, and rainbow broodstock up to 19 inches).

Klickitat County: Horsethief, 35 anglers with 48 trout, 1.37 fish per rod (Cold, very windy — not much effort and not many fish); Rowland, 79 anglers with 162 trout, 2.05 fish per rod (Very windy, but anglers were happy and the fish looked good); Spearfish, nine anglers with 12 trout, 1.33 fish per rod (Very windy but sunny and the parking lot was full).

Lewis County: Carlisle, 63 anglers with 102 trout, 1.62 fish per rod (Nice weather, and a few broodstock and triploid trout caught. Anglers were happy); Fort Borst Park Pond, 71 anglers caught 86 trout, 1.21 fish per rod (Sunny and breezy but a nice day with happy anglers); Mineral, 54 anglers with 98 trout, 1.81 fish per rod (Water 50 degrees — Fewer effort than previous years but 150 boats on the first count. Many anglers started right after midnight. Low catch rate but nice, big fish. Largest was 26 inches); Plummer, 21 anglers caught 76 trout, 3.62 fish per rod (Anglers got five-fish limits but had to work for them).

Mason County: Aldrich, five anglers caught 23 trout, 4.60 fish per rod; Benson, 49 anglers caught 112 trout, 2.29 fish per rod; Clara (Don), 13 anglers caught 36 trout, 2.77 fish per rod; Devereaux, 45 anglers caught 109 trout, 2.42 fish per rod (Mixed weather, good fishing and rainbow broodstock up to 19 inches); Haven, 26 anglers with 93 trout, 3.58 fish per rod; Jiggs, four anglers with five trout, 1.25 fish per rod; Maggie, 19 anglers with 83 trout, 4.37 fish per rod; Phillips, 53 anglers with 166 trout, 3.13 fish per rod (Happy anglers with rainbow up to 18 inches); Robbins, 15 anglers with 45 trout, 3.0 fish per rod; Tiger, 82 anglers with 269 trout, 3.28 fish per rod (Generally happy anglers and most limited); Wood, 10 anglers with 14 trout, 1.40 fish per rod; Wooten, 58 anglers with 143 trout, 2.47 fish per rod (Happy anglers along with some high-grading).

Okanogan County: Alta, 131 anglers with 266 trout, 2.03 fish per rod (Yearling rainbows were 10 inches and the triploids were 17 inches); Fish, 45 anglers with 156 trout, 3.47 fish per rod (Yearling rainbows were 10-12 inches); Pearrygin, 43 anglers with 76 trout, 1.77 fish per rod (Yearling rainbows were 9-11 inches, and triploids were 17 inches); Wannacut, 12 anglers with 46 trout, 3.83 fish per rod (Yearling rainbows were 9-11 inches).

Pend Oreille County: Diamond, 25 anglers with 20 trout, 0.80 fish per rod (Water temp about 43 degrees); Big Meadow (95 percent of lakes is iced over).

Pierce County: Carney, 16 anglers with 37 trout, 2.31 fish per rod; Clear, 99 anglers with 194 trout, 1.96 fish per rod; Crescent, 30 anglers with 71 trout, 2.37 fish per rod; Ohop, 48 anglers with 72 trout, 1.50 fish per rod; Rapjohn, 88 anglers with 140 trout, 1.59 fish per rod; Silver, 55 anglers with 94 trout, 1.71 fish per rod; Jackson, six anglers with four trout, 0.67 fish per rod; Tanwax, 62 anglers with 151 trout, 2.44 fish per rod.

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Skagit County: Erie, 58 anglers with 198 trout, 3.41 fish per rod (4.0 in 2010); Heart, 22 anglers with 75 trout, 3.41 fish per rod (4.7 in 2010); McMurray, 44 anglers with 70 trout, 1.59 fish per rod (3.8 in 2010); Sixteen, 50 anglers with 55 trout, 1.10 fish per rod (2.0 in 2010).

Skamania County: Kidney, nine anglers with 23 trout, 2.56 fish per rod (Overcast, cold, crowded, and triploids and catchables around); Northwestern Reservoir, 38 anglers with 21 trout, 0.55 fish per rod (Cold, windy with some sun. Fish looked good); Swift Reservoir, 42 anglers caught 149 trout, 3.55 fish per rod (Cold, windy but angers were happy with the catch).

Snohomish County: Armstrong, 56 anglers caught 20 trout, 0.36 fish per rod; Bosworth, 24 anglers caught 72 trout, 3.00 fish per rod; Crabapple, three anglers caught five trout, 1.67 fish per rod; Howard, 38 anglers caught 82 trout, 2.16 fish per rod; Ki, 57 anglers caught 179 trout, 3.14 fish per rod; Martha, Alderwood Manor, 42 anglers caught 107 trout, 2.55 fish per rod; Riley, 11 anglers caught 51 trout, 4.64 fish per rod; Serene, 19 anglers caught three trout, 0.16 fish per rod; Stickney, 14 anglers caught two trout, 0.14 fish per rod; Storm, 32 anglers caught 96 trout, 3.00 fish per rod.

Spokane County: Badger, 40 anglers caught 100 trout, 2.50 fish per rod (Great cutthroat fishing in places); Clear, 28 anglers caught 42 trout, 1.50 fish per rod; Fish, 40 anglers caught 88 trout, 2.20 fish per rod; Fishtrap, 38 anglers caught 164 trout, 4.32 fish per rod (Excellent fishing); West Medical, 80 anglers caught 176 trout, 2.20 fish per rod (Good fishing, disappointing start thought it would be better); Williams, 56 anglers caught 196 trout, 3.50 fish per rod.

Stevens County: Cedar, 21 anglers caught 76 trout, 3.62 fish per rod; Deep, three anglers caught seven trout, 2.33 fish per rod; Starvation, 46 anglers caught 174 trout, 3.78 fish per rod; Rocky, 11 anglers caught 40 trout, 3.64 fish per rod; Waitts, 44 anglers caught 123 trout, 2.80 fish per rod.

Thurston County: Clear, 62 anglers caught 197 trout, 3.18 fish per rod (Lots of five-fish limits and most anglers had at least one big fish in their creel); Deep, 36 anglers caught 150 trout, 4.17 fish per rod (Anglers happy with the average size); Hicks, 42 anglers with 143 trout, 3.40 fish per rod (Report of a 5 pound trout caught); Long, 38 anglers caught 138 trout, 3.63 fish per rod (High effort very early with many anglers getting their five-fish limits quickly, and were gone by 7:30 a.m.); McIntosh, 77 anglers caught 236 trout, 3.06 fish per rod (36 fish were 16 inches, including several to 20 inches); Pattison, 48 caught 40 trout, 0.83 fish per rod (Even though the catch rate was low, there was high percentage of fish over 14 inches); Summit, 64 anglers caught 214 trout, 3.34 fish per rod (Very high effort and several wild cutthroat were caught); Ward, 62 anglers caught 99 trout, 1.60 fish per rod (Several large fish to 16 inches).

Whatcom County: Cain, 32 anglers caught 88 trout, 2.75 fish per rod; Padden, 40 anglers caught 124 trout, 3.10 fish per rod; Silver, 161 anglers caught 462 trout, 2.87 fish per rod; Toad, 52 anglers caught 222 trout, 4.27 fish per rod.

(Photos taken by Steve Ringman, Seattle Times staff photographer)

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