Keechelus Lake

This lake is a day-use area only. No overnight camping allowed. 

Located just three miles southeast of Snoqualmie Pass along the south side of I-90, take the Hyak exit to the boat launch & parking area on the south side of the reservoir. With a year round season, Keechelus should be good for 8 to 12 inch kokanee by early June. Trolling or still fishing is effective and chumming is permitted. Rainbows, cutthroat, and burbot are also taken. There is a 10 fish catch limit for kokanee in addition to a two-fish 14-inch minimum size trout daily limit. The lake is annually stocked with kokanee fry.  

Please note:

  • The lake is closed to fishing for bull trout; please carefully release any bull trout that are inadvertently hooked. There are no lake trout (mackinaw) in this lake.
  • Gold Creek is closed to all fishing. Do not drive in the creek. 
  • Do not drive on the reservoir bed unless it is to launch or retrieve a boat at an established launch site. 

Keechelus gets light fishing pressure, with poor boat launching after the reservoir is drawn down in late summer. Caution should be taken if fishing during the winter months due to snow and ice conditions. There is a Forest Service boat launch at the upper (southwest) end of the lake.

Two-pole fishing is NOT allowed

Shoreline access: Good - Good shoreline access around most of the reservoir off Hwy access roads and trails.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Kittitas
Acreage: 2408.50 ac.
Elevation: 2521 ft.
Center: 47.326711, -121.351609
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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

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