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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


May 01, 2012
Contact: Chris Donley, 509-892-1001 Ext. 307

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Anglers enjoy big trout, nice weather
on opening day of lowland lakes season

OLYMPIA – Good weather and big trout helped to boost catch rates on opening day of this year’s lowland lakes fishing season.

Based on creel checks conducted at 112 lakes around the state, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates that anglers caught an average of 3.99 trout on opening day Saturday, April 28.

“The weather was good and so was the fishing,” said Chris Donley, WDFW’s Inland Fish manager. “We saw a lot of limits taken at lakes around the state.”

For most lakes, the daily limit is five fish. Donley said the 5,129 anglers contacted by WDFW on opening day retained an average of 2.6 trout – up from 2.3 fish in recent years. The rest were released.

One reason for the higher retention rate may be that three million of the “catchable-size” trout WDFW planted before the opener averaged 11-13 inches, about a third larger than before. Many lakes were also stocked with thousands of triploids, broodstock and other large trout weighing up to 11 pounds apiece.

“Lots of folks noticed those larger fish,” said Mark Downen, a WDFW fish biologist for Mason and Kitsap counties. “With bigger fish and cool but sunny weather, it was all in all a good opener.”

The 10 lakes with the top catch-and-keep rates were:

  • Ellen Lake, Ferry County (5)
  • Warden Lake, Grant County (5)
  • Panther Lake, Kitsap County (4.6)
  • Clara Lake, Mason County (4.4)
  • Crabapple Lake, Snohomish County (4.3)
  • Mudgett Lake, Stevens County (4.1)
  • Steel Lake, King County (4.1)
  • Devereaux Lake, Mason County (4.1)
  • Mission Lake, Kitsap County (4)
  • Sixteen Lake, Skagit County (4)

“It’s important to remember that we stock lakes with trout for the whole season, not just opening day,” Donley said. “Trout fishing should be highly productive in lowland lakes through June, and then again in September.”

Anglers looking for information about where to fish can find it on WDFW’s new Fish Washington! Online look-up tool at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/.

The following is the entire opening day creel report. (The column showing “average number of fish caught” includes fish released.)

County Lake #Anglers Checked Average # fish caught/angler Average # fish harvested/angler
Chelan Beehive 37 3.6 2.73
Chelan Clear 36 3.4 2.92
Chelan Lily 32 2.4 2.38
Chelan Wapato 65 2.7 2.58
Douglas Jameson 5 2.6 2.00
Ferry Lake Ellen 11 5.4 5.00
Grant Warden 80 4.95 4.09
Grant Blue 66 1.88 1.88
Grant Park 148 3.34 2.91
Grant Deep 64 5.48 3.13
Grant Vic Meyers 29 1.34 1.21
Grays Harbor Aberdeen 134 2.88 1.31
Grays Harbor Sylvia 34 1.26 1.09
Grays Harbor Vance Ponds #1 27 1.50 1.18
Grays Harbor Vance Ponds #2 39 2.95 2.62
Grays Harbor Failor 58 5.44 3.01
Jefferson Anderson Lake 75 4.3 3.1
Jefferson Horseshoe (Jef) 10 1.9 0.4
Jefferson Ludlow 14 0.5 0.5
Jefferson Sandy Shore 65 4.5 3.9
Jefferson Silent Lake 8 8.4 3.5
Jefferson Tarboo 39 1.8 1.8
King Cottage 70 4.3 1.43
King Geneva 27 4.9 2.41
King Langlois 51 6.3 3.75
King Margaret 55 3.1 1.36
King North 12 3.5 3.50
King Pine 75 5.1 3.07
King Steel 23 4.7 4.13
King Walker 33 5.4 4.18
Kitsap Buck 16 3.4 1.4
Kitsap Horseshoe (Kit) 49 6.0 3.0
Kitsap Mission 39 6.5 4.1
Kitsap Panther 40 5.6 4.6
Kitsap Wildcat 65 3.9 2.8
Kitsap Wye 31 4.3 3.9
Klickitat Rowland 47 5.36 2.21
Klickitat Spearfish 30 3.87 2.93
Klickitat Horsethief 36 3.89 3.28
Lewis Plummer 28 2.82 1.32
Lewis Ft. Borst Pk.Pd. 291 1.34 0.95
Lewis Carlisle 33 13.06 0.82
Lewis Mineral 87 8.07 3.11
Lincoln Fish Trap 27 4.4 3.00
Mason Aldrich Lake 7 6.9 3.9
Mason Benson 36 4.8 3.7
Mason Clara 13 5.3 4.4
Mason Devereaux 36 4.1 2.8
Mason Haven Lake 10 13.7 3.2
Mason Howell Lake 18 5.0 4.2
Mason Limerick 22 4.0 2.7
Mason Phillips Lake 28 6.8 4.8
Mason Robbins Lake 15 4.7 3.8
Mason Stump 39 1.6 1.4
Mason Tiger Lake 70 4.5 3.5
Mason Wildberry Lake 1 7.0 3.0
Mason Wood Lake 6 3.5 2.7
Mason Wooten Lake 49 3.8 3.5
Okanogan Alta 95 3.8 2.80
Okanogan Fish 45 2.9 2.07
Okanogan Wannacut 15 3.4 3.40
Okanogan Pearrygin 59 1.4 1.27
Okanogan Conconully Res. 40 2.0 2.00
Okanogan Conconully Lake 51 0.8 0.84
Pacific Black 32 1.66 1.34
Pend Oreille Diamond Lake 44 3.5 1.68
Pierce Bay 114 4.65 3.82
Pierce Carney 27 4.78 1.89
Pierce Clear 41 5.88 3.41
Pierce Jackson 4 2.50 2.50
Pierce Ohop 55 2.67 2.29
Pierce Rapjohn 29 3.34 3.07
Pierce Silver 38 1.89 1.55
Pierce Tanwax 49 3.71 2.82
Skagit Heart 112 4.1 2.95
Skagit McMurray 65 3.9 3.06
Skagit Sixteen 56 4.0 2.96
Skamania Swift Reservoir 40 3.30 2.25
Skamania Kidney 42 3.52 2.17
Snohomish Armstrong 26 1.5 0.58
Snohomish Bosworth 31 3.9 3.23
Snohomish Crabapple 16 4.3 2.13
Snohomish Ki 76 2.8 1.47
Snohomish Martha (AM) 46 3.3 2.02
Snohomish Riley 72 4.4 2.72
Snohomish Serene 18 6.2 2.56
Snohomish Stickney 11 6.3 1.73
Snohomish Storm 53 3.4 2.47
Snohomish Wagner 10 6.5 1.10
Spokane Badger 28 2.5 2.40
Spokane Williams 61 5.5 3.90
Spokane Fish Lake 49 3.3 2.00
Spokane West Medical 88 4.6 3.10
Spokane Clear Lake 37 3.4 2.10
Stevens Cedar Lake 25 4.4 3.28
Stevens Mudgett Lake 22 4.2 4.14
Stevens Rocky Lake 17 2.8 2.71
Stevens Starvation Lake 19 3.7 3.68
Stevens Waitts Lake 28 7.0 2.68
Thurston Clear 88 5.18 3.81
Thurston Deep 62 1.92 1.81
Thurston Hicks 35 2.74 2.06
Thurston Long 46 5.09 3.98
Thurston McIntosh 84 3.85 2.96
Thurston Pattison 36 3.03 1.47
Thurston Summit 65 5.55 4.05
Thurston Ward 39 4.56 2.15
Whatcom Cain 42 6.4 3.81
Whatcom Padden 58 4.8 3.88
Whatcom Silver 132 4.9 3.04
Whatcom Toad 65 7.6 3.34
TOTALS 5129 3.99 2.60