Lake Whatcom

Located just east of Bellingham. Fishing opportunities include resident Kokanee, Largemouth and Smallmouth bass, and Yellow Perch. Fishing for resident Coastal Cutthroat Trout is closed due to a decline in abundance caused by siltation from logging and urban activities in their spawning tributaries.

All tributaries and that portion of the lake between Electric Avenue Bridge and the outlet dam are closed to fishing at all times.

Boating access and other amenities are available at Bloedel Donovan Park (City of Bellingham) and a WDFW access site.

Two-pole fishing is NOT allowed

Shoreline access: Good - WDFW access only

WDFW water access areas on this lake

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Whatcom
Acreage: 4923.60 ac.
Elevation: 312 ft.
Center: 48.740296, -122.346516
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Fishing prospects calendar

Coastal cutthroat trout (resident)

Fishing is best for Coastal Cutthroat in the spring and fall. There is a summer lull as fish move offshore into deeper waters to escape the summer heat in July and August. Catch is lowest in the late-winter while adults are spawning in tributary streams.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Kokanee

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

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

Smallmouth 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

Pumpkinseed Sunfish

Pumpkinseed Sunfish are ubiquitous in most lowland lakes and readily caught year-round. Fishing is best in the spring and summer, peaking during the spawn in June. Fish move offshore into deeper waters through the fall as water temperatures cool making it more difficult to target them. Winter is the most difficult season to catch Pumpkinseed, but persistent anglers can find nice-sized schools offshore.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Brown bullhead

Fishing improves throughout the spring, peaking before the spawning period in May and June. Fishing may pick up in early Fall, followed by a decrease in action as waters cool. Winter is a difficult time to target this species.

Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year