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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Eastern Washington early trout fishing season the perfect cure for cabin fever

The Eastern Washington early season trout fishery began Friday (March 1), and unseasonably warm weather should create good action in the days and possibly weeks to come.

“Right now pretty much every lake is fishable and we’ve got a little ice on some, but it shouldn’t impede the fisheries,” said Chad Jackson, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Ephrata.

“Fish survival (on carry-over trout) was good, and the fish are nice size,” Jackson said. “Dusty (a popular fly-fishing spot), Lenice and Nunnally should be decent, and anglers can expect pretty good outings there.”

Quincy, Burke, Merry, Martha, and Upper and Lower Caliche in Columbia Basin will also produce good trout fishing. Quincy from a fish-size stand point (trout will average 11 to 13 inches) will be the best of the four lakes.

“Burke Lake was rehabilitated in 2012, and stocked just before the opener with catchable-sized trout from 8 to 11 inches,” Jackson said.

Also expect a few bigger 6 to 7 pound trout that weren’t caught in a derby held at Burke on Saturday.

Walk-in lakes at the Quincy Wildlife Area like Upper and Lower Spring, Cascade, Cliff, Dot, George, Cup and Crystal should be decent.

Access into Quincy Wildlife Area is only allowed through gate located at north end access road. The south end access is closed due to recent vehicle vandalism.

In Stevens County, Deer Lake is a productive spot for trout, but is often covered with ice early on.

Anglers heading to Spokane/Lincoln County lakes like Downs; Liberty; Amber (catch and release only until April 27); Coffeepot (minimum size limit is 18 inches and daily limit is one trout); and Medical and North Silver (minimum size is 14 inches) are open for trout fishing.

The impoundments off the Tucannon River on the Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County stocked with trout include Big Four, Blue, Beaver, Deer, Rainbow, Watson and Spring.

Other noteworthy east side places to pursue trout this month are:

Benton County: Columbia River Pond (open for youth under age 15 and disability anglers only), 2,000 trout planted from March 1-15. Franklin County: Dalton Lake, 14,900 now through April; and Marmes Pond, 1,500 trout this month.

Kittitas County: Fio Rito Lake North, 2,000 March 1-15; Fio Rito Lake South, 1,500 March 1-15; Mattoon Lake, 2,400 March 1-15; and McCabe Pond, 700 March 1-15. Yakima County: I-82 Pond 1, 2,500 March 1-15; I-82 Pond 2, 3,000 March 1-15; I-82 Pond 3, 3,000 March 1-15; I-82 Pond 4, 2,000 March 1-15; I-82 Pond 6, 2,250 March 1-15; Myron Lake, 1,000 March 1-15; Rotary Lake, 2,200 March 1-15; and Sarge Hubbard Park Pond (open for youth under age 15 and disability anglers only), 1,100 March 1-15.

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