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Lake Chelan
Photo of Lake Chelan

Stretching over 50 miles from the town of Chelan to Stehekin, this is the largest natural lake in Washington. Although most of the lake is open year-round, the upper end is closed during April, May and June and tributary stream-mouths are closed year-round to protect pre-spawning adult trout; check the current regulations pamphlet carefully for details concerning size and catch limits, and wild cutthroat (adipose fin present) release requirements. As of May 1, 2006, the Old Mill Stream tributary is closed to fishing year round.

Good fishing for Kokanee is usually best from mid-April through June.  In June and July, catchable-size Rainbow Trout are planted in the lower lake near the towns of Chelan and Manson.  Anglers after trophy fish have a chance to catch Lake Trout (mackinaw) as well as a few land locked Chinook salmon year round. The state Lake Trout record has been broken several times here over the years, including the latest occuring in February of 2013. There are no size or daily limits on Lake Trout here during open seasons. WDFW has been stocking triploid landlocked Chinook salmon fry.  but this species apears to be in low abundance compared to other lake species and are usually caught while targeting Lake Trout.  Burbot fishing opportunities are best from February through April, with fishing popular in the Manson/Wapato Point area. A limited Smallmouth Bass fishery with some quality fish exists in the lower portion of the lake.

The Washington Department of Health (DOH) has issued this fish consumption advisory for the Lake Chelan due to DDT contamination:the general public, especially women who expect to get pregnant or are pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children should limit [consumption of] lake trout (mackinaw) to one meal (8-ounce portion for adults, proportionally smaller for children) per week. For more information, contact the DOH Office of Environmental Health Assessments at (877) 485-7316 or visit the Http://www.doh.wa.gov/fish.


Fishing Prospects Calendar

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
KokaneePoor fishing - All monthFair fishing - 2nd half of monthFair fishing - All monthGood fishing - 1st half of monthExcellent fishing - All monthExcellent fishing - 1st half of monthFair fishing - All monthPoor fishing - All monthPoor fishing - All monthPoor fishing - All monthPoor fishing - All monthPoor fishing - All month
Lake troutGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All month
Rainbow troutFair fishing - All monthFair fishing - All monthFair fishing - All monthFair fishing - All monthFair fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthGood fishing - All monthFair fishing - All monthFair fishing - All monthFair fishing - All month
LEGEND
Fishing Expectation

Excellent

Excellent Good Good Fair Fair Poor Poor
Type of Opportunity Full Month Full month 1st half of month only 1st half only 2nd half of month only 2nd half only No opportunity No opportunity

Species you might catch

Bridgelip sucker
Burbot
Chinook salmon
Chiselmouth
Crawfish
Largemouth bass
Peamouth
Pygmy whitefish
Rainbow x Cutthroat
Smallmouth bass
Tench
Three-spine stickleback
Westslope cutthroat

Lake Information

Chelan County
Lake Acreage: 32,622.7
Elevation: 1,102 feet
Eastside Washington

Lake Management Type
Mixed species - Trout emphasis

Sport Fishing Regulations & Seasons

Emergency Rule Updates
Fishing closures and openings happen constantly throughout the year. The E-Rules keep you up-to-date.


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This feature shows the general location of the selected body of water. Directions may not include routes to boat launches or other water access sites. Check below for access sites or read the description for specific access information. Please do not trespass on private property.
Two-Pole Fishing Allowed

Access Sites / Boat Ramps on this Lake

Fish Plants & Stocking Reports