Last-minute changes may affect trout opener fishing plans


This document is provided for archival purposes only. Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256
OLYMPIA -- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists have a few tips for fishers turning out for the traditional opening of fishing season Saturday.

General information on fishing prospects is included in the department's just- released 1997 Fishing Guide, available by writing: Angler Education, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA, 98501-1091.

But late-breaking changes, such as road closures, late-retreating snow packs and changes in planned fish stocking operations, will affect fishing prospects in some areas.

Changes include:

  • Chapman Lake (Spokane County): Access will be through a resort area for a nominal fee. Good prospects for kokanee and rainbow trout; bass later in the spring.
  • Little Pend Oreille Lakes Chain (Stevens and Pend Oreille counties): Five of the six lakes in the chain are scheduled for rehabilitation with rotenone this fall. They are expected to offer only modest prospects for rainbow and eastern brook trout on opening day. The lakes scheduled for treatment are: Leo (in Pend Oreille County) and Heritage, Thomas, Gillette and Sherry (in Stevens County).
  • Mudgett Lake (Stevens County): Rainbow trout were re-planted last spring following a suspected pesticide spill that has dissipated. The re- stocked fish are doing well and have reached the 10-inch range.
  • Swan Lake (Ferry County): Access may be difficult if snow is present. Fishing will be fair for planted rainbows on the opener.
  • Diamond Lake (Pend Oreille County): Traditionally a cutthroat lake, Diamond has received rainbow trout for the past several years due to shortages of cutthroat eggs at the Kings Lake broodstock collection facility.
  • Skookum Lakes (Pend Oreille County): Both lakes should be good for nine-inch rainbow trout on the opener.
  • Columbia Park Pond (Benton County): The kids-only Kennewick fishing pond has been stocked with 1,700 rainbow trout.
  • Easton Lake (Kittitas County): The lake recently has been stocked with 12,000 trout. Elsewhere in Kittitas County, Fio Rito Lakes have been stocked several times. Most recently it received 14,000 rainbow trout. Lavender Lake was stocked with 5,000 rainbow trout.
  • Clear Lake (Yakima County): The lake recently was planted with 12,000 rainbow trout. It still may have a partial ice cover by opening day. It may be inaccessible to boaters due to a late snow pack. Elsewhere in the county, Rotary Lake, I-82 Pond 4 (seven miles east of Yakima on Interstate 82) and Wenas Lake recently have been planted with rainbow trout in the 12-inch range. Some also have carry-over populations of larger brown trout.
  • Horseshoe Lakes (Jefferson County): Poor road conditions have delayed fish stocking operations for at least three weeks. Teal Lake also will be stocked late.
  • Swift Reservoir (Skamania County): The reservoir will not be as productive as usual due to murky water resulting from recent rains and melting snow. Storm debris in the water also could interfere with boat motors. Conditions are expected to improve in May. Klineline Pond and Battleground, Cress and Horseshoe lakes are expected to have better fishing prospects.
  • Northwestern Reservoir (on the Skamania-Klickitat county border), is not usable for boat trailers due to flood damage. Roland Lake, east on Highway 14 in Klickitat County, offers better prospects.
Fish stocking has been delayed in some areas in an effort to avoid bird predation. These sites, which will not be stocked until May, include Lone and Cranberry lakes (Island County); Roesiger, Blackmans, Flowing and Goodwin lakes (Snohomish County) and Meridian and Rattlesnake lakes (King County).

Crowds may make access slow at some of Puget Sound area's best and most popular sites. The best fishing prospects in the northwest part of the state include Deer and Goss lakes (Island County), Erie, Heart and McMurray lakes (Skagit County); Cain, Padden and Silver lakes (Whatcom County) and Geneva, North, Wilderness, Langlois and Pine lakes (King County).

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email ( For more information, see