Steel Lake

2023 Trout Derby lake

Starting soon! For more information about how the trout derby works, important dates, and prizes, visit the 2023 Trout Derby page.

Fishing opportunities include stocked Rainbow Trout and resident Largemouth Bass and Yellow Perch.

This lake is one of only ten waters in King 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 boat launch is maintained by the WDFW adjacent to Steel Lake Park (City of Federal Way) where shore anglers can fish from a pier.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - Shoreline and pier access at the public park

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: King
Acreage: 46.30 ac.
Elevation: 436 ft.
Center: 47.327524, -122.302893
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Catchable fish plants

Release Location: STEEL LK (KING)
Stock Date Species Number Released Number of Fish Per Pound Facility
May 6, 2022 Rainbow 600 2.5 PUYALLUP HATCHERY
Apr 11, 2022 Rainbow 7,200 2 PUYALLUP HATCHERY
Apr 19, 2021 Rainbow 4,000 3 PUYALLUP HATCHERY
Apr 12, 2021 Rainbow 4,000 3 PUYALLUP HATCHERY
Apr 22, 2020 Rainbow 8,000 2.4 PUYALLUP HATCHERY
Nov 25, 2019 Rainbow 817 0.67 WHITEHORSE POND
Oct 22, 2019 Rainbow 804 0.67 WHITEHORSE POND
May 31, 2019 Rainbow 2,012 2.3 CHAMBERS CR HATCHERY
May 3, 2019 Rainbow 1,008 2.4 CHAMBERS CR HATCHERY
Apr 24, 2019 Rainbow 4,000 2.5 CHAMBERS 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

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


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