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April 26, 1999
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256

Large trout, weather cooperate for lake fishing opening day

OLYMPIA– Lots of trout and good weather across much of the state made Saturday's opening day of the lowland lake fishing season memorable, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists across the state reported.

As a result of the blue skies and calm waters, record numbers of anglers turned out in some parts of the state, especially in the Spokane and Olympia areas.

Fishing was so good many anglers also released many of the trout they caught.

Many of the lakes also produced trout planted last year that had grown as large as 28 inches for Saturday's opener.

While fishing was good in many parts of the state, biologists also reported many lakes in northern parts of eastern Washington still were covered by ice due to spring's late arrival.

For lunkers, Mineral Lake in Lewis County was a good place to be. Biologists found trout more than 28 inches in length. Loon Lake in Stevens County produced a 14-pound Mackinaw and several others nearly as big. The lake also produced a 5- pound rainbow. Stevens County's Deer lake also produced Mackinaws up to 28 inches and rainbows as large as 18 inches.

Here's a preliminary regional breakdown of the lakes in which anglers averaged at least four trout on opening day, based on WDFW surveys. Harvest angler is in parentheses:

  • Eastern Washington: Spokane County Badger (4.9), Williams (4.5) and West Medical (4.3); Stevens County Starvation (4.4), Deep (4.5) and Cedar (4.1)

  • East-Central Washington: Douglas County-Jameson (4.6); Okanogan County Fish (4.3), Pearrygin (4.4) Big Twin (4.7), Alta (4.4) and Round (6.7)

  • Puget Sound: King County-Geneva (4), Walker (4.7); Pierce County-Bay (4); Skagit County-Erie (4.6), Heart (4.3), McMurray (4) and Sixteen (4.9); Snohomish County-Riley (4.9); Whatcom County-Cain (4.4), Padden (4.6), Silver (4.3), Toad (4.9) and Baker (4.4)

  • Southwestern Washington: Cowlitz County-Horseshoe (5.2); Skamania County-Kidney (5.3) and Little Ash (8.5)

  • Olympic Peninsula: Thurston County-McIntosh (4.7); Jefferson County- Anderson (4.1).