April 24, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256
Last-minute changes may affect trout opener fishing plans
OLYMPIA -- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists have a few
tips for fishers turning out for the traditional opening of fishing season Saturday.
General information on fishing prospects is included in the department's just-
released 1997 Fishing Guide, available by writing: Angler Education, Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA, 98501-1091.
But late-breaking changes, such as road closures, late-retreating snow packs
and changes in planned fish stocking operations, will affect fishing prospects in some
- Chapman Lake (Spokane County): Access will be through a resort area
for a nominal fee. Good prospects for kokanee and rainbow trout; bass
later in the spring.
- Little Pend Oreille Lakes Chain (Stevens and Pend Oreille counties):
Five of the six lakes in the chain are scheduled for rehabilitation with
rotenone this fall. They are expected to offer only modest prospects for
rainbow and eastern brook trout on opening day. The lakes scheduled for
treatment are: Leo (in Pend Oreille County) and Heritage, Thomas,
Gillette and Sherry (in Stevens County).
- Mudgett Lake (Stevens County): Rainbow trout were re-planted last
spring following a suspected pesticide spill that has dissipated. The re-
stocked fish are doing well and have reached the 10-inch range.
- Swan Lake (Ferry County): Access may be difficult if snow is present.
Fishing will be fair for planted rainbows on the opener.
- Diamond Lake (Pend Oreille County): Traditionally a cutthroat lake,
Diamond has received rainbow trout for the past several years due to
shortages of cutthroat eggs at the Kings Lake broodstock collection
- Skookum Lakes (Pend Oreille County): Both lakes should be good for
nine-inch rainbow trout on the opener.
- Columbia Park Pond (Benton County): The kids-only Kennewick fishing
pond has been stocked with 1,700 rainbow trout.
- Easton Lake (Kittitas County): The lake recently has been stocked with
12,000 trout. Elsewhere in Kittitas County, Fio Rito Lakes have been
stocked several times. Most recently it received 14,000 rainbow trout.
Lavender Lake was stocked with 5,000 rainbow trout.
- Clear Lake (Yakima County): The lake recently was planted with 12,000
rainbow trout. It still may have a partial ice cover by opening day. It may
be inaccessible to boaters due to a late snow pack. Elsewhere in the
county, Rotary Lake, I-82 Pond 4 (seven miles east of Yakima on
Interstate 82) and Wenas Lake recently have been planted with rainbow
trout in the 12-inch range. Some also have carry-over populations of
larger brown trout.
- Horseshoe Lakes (Jefferson County): Poor road conditions have delayed
fish stocking operations for at least three weeks. Teal Lake also will be
- Swift Reservoir (Skamania County): The reservoir will not be as
productive as usual due to murky water resulting from recent rains and
melting snow. Storm debris in the water also could interfere with boat
motors. Conditions are expected to improve in May. Klineline Pond and
Battleground, Cress and Horseshoe lakes are expected to have better
Fish stocking has been delayed in some areas in an effort to avoid bird
predation. These sites, which will not be stocked until May, include Lone and Cranberry
lakes (Island County); Roesiger, Blackmans, Flowing and Goodwin lakes (Snohomish
County) and Meridian and Rattlesnake lakes (King County).
- Northwestern Reservoir (on the Skamania-Klickitat county border), is
not usable for boat trailers due to flood damage. Roland Lake, east on
Highway 14 in Klickitat County, offers better prospects.
Crowds may make access slow at some of Puget Sound area's best and most
popular sites. The best fishing prospects in the northwest part of the state include Deer
and Goss lakes (Island County), Erie, Heart and McMurray lakes (Skagit County); Cain,
Padden and Silver lakes (Whatcom County) and Geneva, North, Wilderness, Langlois
and Pine lakes (King County).