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

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April 29, 2002
Contact: John Hisata, (360) 902-2797

Cool, wet weather dampens lowland lakes trout fishing opener

The thousands of trout anglers who participated in opening day of trout fishing April 27 braved rain and wind in western Washington, and even spring snow in eastern Washington. Their reward: Good catches of rainbow, cutthroat and eastern brook trout.

While the weather appeared to dampen angler participation somewhat from the previous year's opener, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) creel checks showed thousands of fishers caught fast-growing triploid trout of more than 1 ½ pounds apiece, recently planted broodstock trout in excess of 20 inches, and lots of carryover fish from 2001 plants.

The lower-than-usual turnout should lead to outstanding fishing opportunity in the coming weeks.

In western Washington, some of the top producers include Failor Lake in Grays Harbor, where anglers averaged nearly seven and a half fish per rod (including fish released); Lake Wilderness in King County, where anglers caught carryover trout averaging 16 inches apiece; and Clear Lake in Pierce County where anglers averaged a little more than three fish per rod, with the largest fish taken measuring 28 inches.

Fishing effort in eastern Washington appeared to be significantly less than the 2001 opener. Anglers at Chelan County's Beehive Reservoir had to contend with seven inches of freshly fallen snow from the previous night but managed to catch nearly five fish per rod on opening day, with a size range of 11 to 19 inches. And despite low water conditions at favorite Okanogan County lakes, such as Big Twin and Conconnully Lake, anglers still managed to take lots of rainbows in the 11 to 14-inch range.

Resident anglers 16 years of age and older must have a valid freshwater fishing license, available for $21.90 at hundreds of license dealers across the state, all WDFW offices, over the telephone (1-866-246-9453), or at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ on the Internet. All resident and non-resident children 14 years of age and younger fish free; 15-year-olds fish on a $5.48 license. Licenses are valid from April 1, 2002 through March 31, 2003.

WDFW officials made the following creel checks across the state:

2002 Lowland Lakes Opening Day Data
(Note: Fish-per-angler numbers may include fish caught and released.)
County Lake Fish/Angler Size
Chelan Beehive Res 4.9 RB 11" to 19"
Clear 5 EB 12"
Fish 1.5 RB 12"
Wapato 5 Rb 12" to over 14"
Clark Klineline 3
Cowlitz Horseshoe 3.1
Kress 3.1
Douglas Jameson 4.9 RB 11" to 17.5"
Ferry Ellen 1.3 RB 12.5" to 19"
Grant Blue 2 RB Ave 13" to 16"
Deep 3.4 RB Ave 13" to 16"
Dry Falls RB to over 20"
Park 2 RB 14" to over 16"
Perch 3.2 RB Ave 11"
Vic Meyers 2.3 RB 13", carry over 18"+
Warden 4.7 RB 12" to over 16"
Grays Harbor Aberdeen 4.5
Failor 7.4
Sylvia 4
Cases Pd. 0.75
Island Deer 4
Jefferson Anderson 2.7
Horseshoe 1.6 All triplooids
Tarboo 3.7
King Geneva 3
Langlois 2.6
Margaret 4 Nice CT 12"-16"
North 2
Pine 3
Wilderness 3 Lots of carryovers 16"
Rattlesnake 2.5
Kitsap Buck 3.4
Wildcat 3.1
Klickitat Horsethief 4.5
Spearfish 1.6
Lewis Mineral 2.3
Mason Benson 4
Haven 3
Nahwatzel 1.3
Phillips 2.2
Stump 5.6
Tiger 2.8
Wooten 2.3
Okanogan Aeneas 3.8
Alta 0.8
Big Twin 3 carry overs 14.5"
Conconnully Lk. 2.9 RB 11.5" to 14"
Ell RB 16"+
Fish 3 RB 11.5" to 17.5"
Leader 2.6 RB 11.5" to 18"
Long 3 RB 12" to 16.5"
Patterson 0.1 RB 13"
Pearrygin 4.6 RB 10.6" to 16"
Round 3.5 RB 11" to14.4"
Wanacutt 2.8 RB 10.5" to 15.5"
Pend Oreille Marshall 3.1 CT 10.5"
Pierce Bay 2.7
Clear 3.5
Ohop 1.9
Rapjohn 2.4 RB to 17"
Silver 1.2 RB and BT
Tanwax 1.7
Skagit Erie 4.7
McMurray 4.2
Sixteen 4.4
Skamania Icehouse 1.3
Little Ash 3.2
Swift Res. 0.2
Snohomish Armstrong 3
Bosworth 3 Nice carryovers
Howard 2.9
Ki 4.1
Martha (AM) 2.5
Riley 4.9
Storm 2
Crabapple 0.3
Wagners 1
Spokane Badger 3.3 RB 9" to 18"
Clear 2.4 RB 10" to 25"
Fish 3.2 EB 8" to 18"
Fishtrap 3.7 RB 8' to 15"
West Medical 3.3 RB 10" to 24"
Williams 2.6 RB 10" to 26"
Stevens Cedar 4.7 RB 12" to 19"
Deep 5 CT and RB 9" to 10"
Mudget 1.6 RB 11" to 19"
Rocky 2.6 RB 8" to 16"
Starvation 3.6 RB 9" to 16.5"
Thurston Clear 1.9
Deep 3
Hicks 3.6
Long 4.1
McIntosh 6.8
Munn 2
Pattison 1.2
Summit 3.4
Ward 6.1
Walla Walla Bennington 1 RB 11" to 12"
Whatcom Cain 4.7
Padden 3.7
Silver 4.3
Toad 4