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

April 27, 1998
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256

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Weather and fish cooperate in opener

OLYMPIA -- Plenty of hungry trout and good weather made for full creels at many lakes and lots of family fun during the weekend lowland trout opener.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists said plenty of the 2.4 million trout planted remain in the lakes and will provide good fishing for months.

WDFW biologists in eastern Washington said Saturday's opener was the best they had seen in many years. Harvests of lots of trout 16 inches and larger added to the fishing fun, they said.

In the Spokane area, WDFW biologists reported many anglers turned out for catch-and-release fishing as well.

Biologists at western Washington lakes reported lots of fishing success. Large numbers of youngsters turned out at many lakes.

Some of the best fishing was to be found at Anderson Lake in Jefferson County where the average catch was 4.3 trout in the 14 to 18-inch range. Angers at Mission Lake in Kitsap County caught an average of 4.1 fish with an average size of more than a foot.

Thurston County lakes also provided lots of big fish. Clear, Hicks, Long and Pattison lakes yielded trout from 15 to 21 inches. Summit Lake produced near limits of kokanee in the 12-inch range and cutthroat from 15 to 17 inches.

In Eastern Washington, Loon Lake in Stevens County produced 24 lake trout from 17 to 20 pounds and rainbow up to two pounds.

Downs Lake in Spokane County produced rainbow trout up to 15 inches plus largemouth bass up to five pounds.

Here is a regional breakdown of some of the best trout fishing lakes over the weekend (average catch in parenthesis):

  • Olympic Peninsula: Jefferson County: Anderson (4.3); Tarboo (4.2); Mason County: Deer (4.3), Tiger (3.9); Thurston County: Hicks (4.4), McIntosh (4.3), Summit (4.5); Pacific County: Black (4.81)
  • Puget Sound: King County: Steele (3.6); Kitsap County: Mission (4.1); Skagit County: Erie (4.7); Heart (4.9); Whatcom County: Toad (4.6), Baker (4.5); Snohomish County: Armstrong (4.5), Riley (4.6); Island County: Goss (3.9)
  • Southwestern Washington: Clark County: Battleground (3.8); Cowlitz County: Horseshoe (3); Skamania County: Icehouse (4.7)
  • Central Washington: Chelan County: Wapato (4.7); Klickitat County: Horsethief (3.6)
  • East-Central Washington: Okanogan County: Alta (4.2), Conconully (4.7); Pearrygin (4.6), Fish (4.2), Blue (4.3); Douglas County: Jameson (4.2); Grant County: Deep (5), Blue (4.9), Park (4.5), Perch (4.6)
  • Eastern Washington: Pend Orielle County: Ledbetter (5); Spokane County: Badger (4.9), West Medical (4.5); Stevens County: Deep (3.9)
"We had a very successful opener," said Bern Shanks, WDFW's director, "But remember, Washington's lakes will offer good trout fishing all year. There's still plenty of time to go fishing."