Cooper Lake

The lake is stocked annually in May & June with catchable sized rainbow trout some up to 1.5 lbs each.

Anglers can expect excellent angling opportunities throughout the late spring and summer season.  This high lake (2788 feet) 31/2 miles northwest of Salmon-La-Sac is accessible by a Forest Service road from the upper Cle Elum River. Cooper Lake enjoys a year-round open fishing season and in the past has provided fair fishing for brook trout and rainbows 8-10 inches. Brown trout in the 1 to 3-pound range and some much larger are also available. Small kokanee and cutthroat are also taken.  Closed to fishing for bull trout. Please carefully release any bull trout that are inadvertantly hooked.

A boat launch is available, but all motors are prohibited by county ordinance. There is a small US Forest Service campground at the lake.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - Shoreline access via US Forest Service campground.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Kittitas
Acreage: 129.40 ac.
Elevation: 2792 ft.
Center: 47.426187, -121.176924
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Catchable fish plants

Release Location: COOPER LK (KITT)
Stock Date Species Number Released Number of Fish Per Pound Facility
May 30, 2023 Rainbow 3,000 2.4 NACHES HATCHERY
Jun 8, 2022 Rainbow 3,000 2.4 NACHES HATCHERY
Jun 10, 2020 Rainbow 2,544 2.4 NACHES HATCHERY
May 20, 2020 Rainbow 2,520 2.4 NACHES HATCHERY
Jun 5, 2019 Rainbow 2,496 2.4 NACHES HATCHERY
May 20, 2019 Rainbow 2,520 2.4 NACHES HATCHERY
Jun 11, 2018 Rainbow 2,750 2.5 NACHES HATCHERY
May 21, 2018 Rainbow 2,500 2.5 NACHES HATCHERY
Jun 20, 2017 Rainbow 283 0.3 TROUT LODGE COMMERCIAL
Jun 6, 2017 Rainbow 4,020 2.4 NACHES 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

Westslope cutthroat trout

See chart for details.
Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year


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