QUILCENE–Lake Leland should provide some good winter and spring trout fishing due to fish releases by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Some 115 broodstock rainbows up to 20 inches long and weighing up to 4 pounds already have been released in the lake. Another 5,000 6-inch rainbows will be released in the next couple of weeks which will improve fishing in the early spring.
Later next spring, another 10,000 to 15,000 trout in the 10-inch range will be released into Lake Leland.
Thom Johnson, WDFW district fish biologist, said additional trout were being planted in Lake Leland to provide fishing opportunities lost when nearby Crocker Lake was treated with rotenone in 1998 to remove illegally introduced northern pike.
At a public meeting after the treatment of Crocker Lake, local residents and WDFW biologists agreed that Crocker Lake should be used as rearing area to help in the recovery of wild coho salmon in the Snow Creek watershed (which includes Crocker Lake and Andrews Creek). It also was decided that Crocker Lake would not be restocked with trout or warmwater species such as bass and bluegill at this time.
The Snow Creek wild coho recovery program is under way. Wild coho fry are being produced in remote site incubators in the watershed and at WDFW's Hurd Creek Hatchery for release on the following schedule:
- 16,000 were released into Snow and Andrews creeks last spring
- 8,000 were released into Crocker Lake in October
- 8,000 will be released into Crocker Lake in February
These coho fry will leave the Snow Creek watershed as smolts in spring 2000 and return as adults in fall 2001.
Leland and Crocker lakes are located north of Quilcene in eastern Jefferson County.