600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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March 10, 2015
Contact: Chad Jackson, (509) 754-4624, ext. 250

No catchable-size trout in five
Columbia Basin lakes set to open April 1

OLYMPIA – Anglers will have to wait until next year to harvest catchable-size trout at five Columbia Basin lakes that were rehabilitated last fall to remove undesirable fish.

Last October, fish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) treated Sago, Hourglass, Widgeon, and Upper and Lower Hampton lakes in Grant County with rotenone – a naturally occurring pesticide – to rid them of pumpkinseed sunfish and restore the popular trout fisheries, said Chad Jackson, WDFW’s district fish biologist.

After rehabilitating lakes, WDFW usually restocks the waters with catchable-size rainbow trout that measure 11 to 13 inches in length. But these five lakes are located within the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has a national policy that prohibits stocking refuge waters with catchable-size sport fish, said Jackson.

This spring, WDFW hatchery crews will stock all five lakes with rainbow trout fingerlings – measuring 2 to 4 inches in length – that will grow to harvestable size by next year’s opener.

“We know this one year interruption of trout fishing in these popular waters is an inconvenience to anglers,” Jackson said. “But these waters will be fishable next year and vastly improved from the past several years.”

Waters currently open for fishing include Martha, Upper Caliche, Quincy, Burke, and the Quincy walk-in lakes, as well as Blythe, Canal, Chukar, Corral, Heart, Windmill, and North Windmill lakes.

Starting April 1, a number of other lakes will open in the region, providing anglers good trout fishing. Those lakes include Pillar, Snipe, Cattail, Gadwall, Poacher, Shoveler and Lemna. North and South Teal lakes also open April 1 and should fish very well this year, said Jackson.

For more information on those lakes, check WDFW’s Fish Washington website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/.