American Lake

2021 Trout Derby lake

Starting soon! For more information about how the trout derby works, important dates, and prizes, visit the 2021 Trout Derby page.

American Lake is open year-round and offers good harvest opportunities for stocked rainbow trout and kokanee. The lake also supports naturally reproducing populations of yellow perch, brown bullhead catfish, rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and coastal cutthroat. American Lake has some of the better yellow perch fishing in the Pierce County area.

WDFW boat ramp has a two-lane concrete plank ramp and vault toilets, while two county parks provide access, bank fishing and toilets. Private and military resort facilities are also available.

See Washington State Parks website for ADA accessibility  information.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - The WDFW access area has a large area for shore based fishing. There area also a few county parks that allow fishing.

WDFW water access areas on this lake

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Pierce
Acreage: 1091.30 ac.
Elevation: 238 ft.
Center: 47.13287, -122.562286
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Fishing prospects calendar

Rainbow trout

Fishing success for Rainbow Trout is generally best in the spring when thousands of fish are stocked statewide, but they can be caught year-round in most waters with a little patience and persistence. Success remains high into June and gradually declines as water temperatures increase and fish move offshore to stay cool. Fish that escaped the spring harvest return to the nearshore areas in the fall as waters cool off. Some waters may also be stocked again in the fall further boosting catch rates.

Chart showing fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Kokanee

The Kokanee fishery typically lasts from April-October before the adults leave the lake to spawn in tributaries starting in late-October and early-November. Fishing is best in the spring before they move into deeper water to avoid warming water temperatures, but they can be targeted throughout the summer in deeper offshore areas near the thermocline. There may be a slight uptick in some waters in the fall as adults return to shallower water and move near shore towards spawning tributaries.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Largemouth bass

Fishing improves throughout the spring as waters warm and fish move onshore, peaking during the spawn. Summer is a slight lull though dawn/dusk hours can be very good. Catch improves in Fall as waters cool, vegetation begins to die back, and prey becomes more available. Winter is the hardest time because fish are offshore and slow moving.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Smallmouth bass

Fishing improves throughout the spring as waters warm and fish move onshore, peaking during the spawn. Summer is a slight lull though dawn/dusk hours can be very good. Catch improves in Fall as waters cool, vegetation begins to die back, and prey becomes more available. Winter is the hardest time because fish are offshore and slow moving.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Yellow perch

Yellow Perch can be caught year-round. Fishing is best in the summer after they finish spawning in April-May. Fish can be readily angled through the summer from both the shore and boat. Catch begins to decline in the fall as water temperatures cool and fish move offshore forcing anglers to pursue them in boats. Successful fishing for Yellow Perch in the winter involves either targeting schools in deep water from boats or through the ice.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year