Cain Lake

About nine miles southeast of Bellingham. Fishing opportunities includes stocked Rainbow Trout and resident Largemouth Bass and Yellow Perch.

This lake is one of only four waters in Whatcom County managed with a seasonal fishing closure. Spring catch rates for trout are highest early in the season and decline as fish are harvested and as warmer water temperatures force trout to seek areas of colder refuge. Fall is often overlooked by anglers, but can be an ideal time as fish that have been growing all summer become more active around the lake with cooler temperatures.

A WDFW boat launch is available at the south end of the lake.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - WDFW access only

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Whatcom
Acreage: 71.20 ac.
Elevation: 396 ft.
Center: 48.649705, -122.329306
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Catchable fish plants

Release Location: CAIN LK (WHAT)
Stock Date Species Number Released Number of Fish Per Pound Facility
Apr 18, 2023 Rainbow 2,880 2.9 KENDALL CR HATCHERY
Apr 12, 2023 Rainbow 3,300 2.9 KENDALL CR HATCHERY
Apr 11, 2023 Rainbow 3,600 2.9 KENDALL CR HATCHERY
Apr 12, 2022 Rainbow 6,000 2 BELLINGHAM HATCHERY
Apr 6, 2021 Rainbow 6,462 1.8 BELLINGHAM HATCHERY
Apr 29, 2020 Rainbow 6,000 2.2 KENDALL CR HATCHERY
Apr 11, 2019 Rainbow 9,500 1.9 BELLINGHAM HATCHERY
Apr 4, 2018 Rainbow 9,500 2 KENDALL CR HATCHERY
Apr 3, 2017 Rainbow 9,505 1.6 KENDALL CR HATCHERY
Mar 29, 2016 Rainbow 9,600 1.6 KENDALL CR HATCHERY

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


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