Bennington Lake

2024 Trout Derby

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Located about two miles east of Walla Walla, and formerly known as Mill Creek Reservoir, this 50+ acre body of water has a year-round open fishing season. Bennington Lake offers good bank access and a boat launch, however, internal combustion engines are prohibited. This popular impoundment receives multiple plants that total over 15,000 catchable-size (10-12 inch) rainbow trout , 625 jumbo size (14 inch or larger) rainbow trout, plus an additional 500 larger triploid rainbow trout weighing between 1 ½ to 2 pounds. Only two trout over 13 inches may be retained as part of the five trout daily limit here. Some warmwater species are also present. 

This lake is filled each spring by diverting flows from Mill Creek.  However, this diversion only occurs after the flood threat from snow melt and heavy rains has declined.  Thus, the lake level is often not raised and stocking with trout often does not occur until mid or late March. The bottom of the lake loses water after water withdrawals from Mill Creek cease in early summer (to maintain Mill Creek flows and protect stream fish species such as steelhead and bull trout are both listed under the Endangered Species Act, and Chinook are reintroduced).  Therefore, the lake level declines through the summer and by fall it appears that it was drawn down as flood water storage during the winter and spring (the primary purpose of this lake is flood control).  Fishing is very limited after mid summer because of the recession of the lake level and access can be difficult to the low water levels by fall.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - This is US Army Corps property for public recreation

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Walla Walla
Acreage: 39.40 ac.
Elevation: 1199 ft.
Center: 46.065562, -118.260595
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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

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

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