Ward Lake

2024 Trout Derby

1 prize is waiting to be claimed!

Prizes already claimed here:
  • 4 Man Pontoon Boat Rental - 2hrs.
  • Electric Motor Boat Rental - 4hrs
  • $25 Gift Card to Lady of the Lake Restaurant

Catch a tagged fish? Fill out the prize claim form.
Forget where to collect your prize? Recover your prize details.

This relatively deep lake is primarily managed for Rainbow Trout and Kokanee. The lake supports good harvest opportunity for hatchery Rainbow Trout 9-15" and Kokanee up to 15" as well as naturally reproducing populations of Largemouth Bass, Bluegill Sunfish, Coastal Cutthroat Trout and Rock Bass.  Rainbow Trout are typically caught trolling lures or still-fishing bait on the bottom or under a bobber.  Success targeting Kokanee is found while fishing with downriggers or leaded line with a baited wedding ring or spoon.  The Kokanee fishery can start off slow in April but fishes well as the weather warms.  During the dog days of summer early mornings and late evenings can yield good catches of delicious Kokanee. 


Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - Bank fishing includes the area around the boat launch on the east side of the lake.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Thurston
Acreage: 66.10 ac.
Elevation: 162 ft.
Center: 47.008767, -122.875442
Open in Google Maps

Catchable fish plants

Release Location: WARD LK (THUR)
Stock Date Species Number Released Number of Fish Per Pound Facility
Apr 24, 2019 Rainbow 2,014 2.37 EELLS SPRINGS
Apr 10, 2019 Cutthroat 225 1.15 EELLS SPRINGS
Oct 9, 2018 Rainbow 715 1.1 LAKEWOOD HATCHERY
May 2, 2018 Rainbow 2,575 2.8 EELLS SPRINGS
Apr 25, 2018 Rainbow 2,000 2.5 EELLS SPRINGS
May 2, 2017 Rainbow 2,576 2.3 EELLS SPRINGS
Apr 18, 2017 Rainbow 2,030 2.35 EELLS SPRINGS
Apr 18, 2017 Rainbow 20 0.3 TROUT LODGE COMMERCIAL
Apr 17, 2017 Rainbow 10 0.3 TROUT LODGE COMMERCIAL
May 9, 2016 Rainbow 2,575 2.35 EELLS SPRINGS

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

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


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


Bluegill can be caught year-round, but fishing is best in the warm months of Summer. Fishing improves throughout the spring, peaking during the spawn in early-Summer. 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 in which to catch Bluegill, but persistent anglers can find them in schools of like-sized fish offshore.
Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year


Ward Lake
Photo by WDFW