OLYMPIA – Rainbow trout are being planted in Mason County’s Lake Nahwatzel and Grays Harbor County’s Duck Lake, Lake Sylvia and Vance Creek (Elma) Pond #1 to offer a spring-break fishing opportunity.
“This is a great opportunity for folks to enjoy early-season fishing during local schools’ spring vacations,” said Richard Ereth, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) biologist in Montesano.
To boost anglers’ prospects during the spring-break fishery, WDFW will plant the four lakes in late March with “catchable” size rainbow trout averaging six to eight inches. Duck Lake, Lake Sylvia and Vance Creek Pond #1 will each receive 5,000 catchable-size rainbows, and Lake Nahwatzel will receive more than 3,000 catchable trout and several hundred coastal cutthroat trout, Ereth said.
Larger trout, averaging three to five pounds each, also will be planted into the four lakes in time for the spring-break fishery. The quality rainbow trout are reared through a cooperative project between the Chehalis Basin Task Force and WDFW.
Duck Lake, Lake Sylvia and Lake Nahwatzel are open to fishing year-round. Vance Creek (Elma) Pond #1, south of Elma, will be open from March 29 to April 4 for juvenile fishers, seniors over 70 and WDFW-licensed anglers with disabilities. Vance Creek (Elma) Pond #1 will re-open to all anglers April 24, on the “opening day” of lowland lake fishing.
“If the weather cooperates, I expect good success when Pond #1 opens,” said Ereth, noting that the water in the pond has cleared since last year. He said anglers already are enjoying some success at Duck Lake and Lake Sylvia, where good numbers of trout planted last year are still in the water.
A new daily bag limit is in effect this year on Duck Lake and Vance Creek (Elma) Pond #1. The new limit is five fish, including up to two fish over 15 inches. When bait is used, anglers must stop fishing after the first five fish are landed, regardless of whether the fish are kept or released. Ereth said the same bag limit has been in effect on Lake Sylvia for several years, and has worked to extend the availability of larger fish during the fishing season.