Catch rates and fish size were good throughout much of the state on Saturday's opening day of lowland lake fishing.
Many recently-stocked, large triploid rainbow trout were caught at rates well above expectations. Several trout exceeding 20 inches were seen in creels, and some tipped the scales at four- plus pounds.
With over 10 million trout and 12 million kokanee stocked in Washington lakes, fishing is expected to remain good for the entire season, said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fish manager John Hisata.
Anglers, including families and other groups, turned out for an opener that offered an array of weather conditions ranging from warm and sunny in the Okanogan to rain and fog in the opposite corner of the state. Angler turnout varied with weather conditions, said Hisata, who compiled catch reports across the state.
"In southwest Washington rain kept angler turnout down and generally shortened trip length, while in Okanogan County warm weather brought out both anglers and trout, with excellent catch rates in waters such as Leader, Wannacut and Conconully lakes," he said.
The top lakes in average catches were Wapato in Chelan County; Rowland in Klickitat County; Tiger in Mason County; Leader and Wannacut in Okanogan County; Bonney, Clear and Tanwax in Pierce County; Erie and Sixteen in Skagit County; West Medical in Spokane County; and Clear and Long lakes in Thurston County. Those lakes all produced catches of 4.6 fish per angler or better which-at a five-trout-per-day limit-meant limits for most anglers checked.
The following table shows all lakes checked: