Cle Elum Lake

Seven miles northwest of the town of Cle Elum. Fishing season is open year-round, but there are no boat launch facilities after mid-summer due to excessive reservoir drawdown.

This large storage reservoir gets light fishing pressure and is a fair producer of  9 to 15-inch kokanee, with trolling the most effective technique. The lake is no longer stocked with kokanee, instead there is a sockeye salmon restoration effort underway. The permanent fishing regulations were changed in 2015. Kokanee/sockeye minimum size is 9 inches and maximum size is 15 inches to protect migratory sockeye smolts (less than 9 inches) and adult sockeye (greater than 15 inches) holding in the lake before fall spawning in the upper Cle Elum River. There is no minimum size for all other trout species and kokanee/sockeye are included in the 5 [native] trout daily limit (includes kokanee, rainbow and cutthroat trout).

The lake supports a  fair-to-good lake trout (mackinaw) fishery and the WDFW encourages anglers to harvest all these non-native trout species  in order to benefit  juvenile sockeye salmon. Lake trout up to 20 lbs. have been taken. Deep water trolling and jigging techniques during the spring and early summer are effective.

Burbot are also available. Check the regulations pamphlet for details.

There are US Forest Service boat launch and camping facilities at the lake. (Also, see Washington State Parks website for ADA accessibility information. 


Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good
Shoreline access via U.S. Forest lands & campground at Wish Posh.

WDFW water access areas on this lake

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Kittitas
Acreage: 4566.30 ac.
Elevation: 2227 ft.
Center: 47.266596, -121.093567
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Fishing prospects calendar

Lake trout
  • January: Poor fishing - All month
  • February: Poor fishing - All month
  • March: Poor fishing - All month
  • April: Fair fishing - All month
  • May: Good fishing - All month
  • June: Good fishing - All month
  • July: Good fishing - All month
  • August: Fair fishing - All month
  • September: Fair fishing - All month
  • October: Fair fishing - All month
  • November: Poor fishing - All month
  • December: Poor fishing - All month