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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


May 01, 2013
Contact: Chris Donley, (509) 892-1001, ext. 307

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Thousands of anglers enjoy good fishing
during lowland lakes opener

OLYMPIA - Despite cool and windy weather in many parts of the state, anglers had a lot of success reeling in large trout on opening day of this year's lowland lakes fishing season.

Based on creel checks conducted at 98 lakes around the state, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) estimates that anglers caught an average of 4.6 trout on opening day, April 27.

"We saw a lot of limits caught at lakes around the state and many anglers happy with the large trout," said Chris Donley, WDFW's Inland Fish program manager. "Late morning and early afternoon windy weather blew folks off of some waters, but not before they caught lots of fish."

For most lakes, the daily limit is five fish. Donley said the 4,076 anglers contacted by WDFW on opening day retained an average of 2.8 trout - up from 2.3 fish in recent years. The rest of the fish were released.

Donley said one reason for the higher retention rate may be that 2.2 million of the "catchable-size" trout WDFW planted before the opener averaged 10-12 inches - about a third larger than in the past. Many lakes were also stocked with thousands of triploids, broodstock and other large trout weighing up to 11 pounds apiece.

The largest fish caught and recorded included a 24.5-inch rainbow trout at Vance Creek Pond #2 (Lake Inez) in Grays Harbor County, and a 24-inch rainbow at Lincoln County's Fishtrap Lake.

Lakes with the highest average of fish kept per angler include:

  • Aldrich Lake, Mason County (4.7)
  • Wood Lake, Mason County (4.6)
  • Erie Lake, Skagit County (4.6)
  • Martha Lake, Snohomish County (4.5)
  • Rocky Lake, Stevens County (4.5)
  • Fishtrap Lake, Lincoln County (4.4)
  • Swift Reservoir, Skamania County (4.4)
  • West Medical Lake, Spokane County (4.3)
  • Conconully Reservoir, Okanogan County (4.3)
  • Phillips Lake, Mason County (4.3)
  • Spearfish Lake, Klickitat County (4.3)
  • Williams Lake, Spokane County (4.2)
  • Robins Lake, Mason County (4.2)

Donley reminds anglers that opening weekend is just the beginning of five to six months of good fishing, especially through June and then again in September and October for some lakes.

Anglers looking for information about where to fish can find it on WDFW's updated Fish Washington online information tool at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/ .

The following is the entire opening day creel report. (The column showing "average number of fish caught" includes fish released.)

County         Lake #Anglers surveyed Avg.#fish caught/angler Avg.#fish kept/angler
Chelan Beehive 44 1.6 1.3
  Clear 22 3.4 2.7
  Wapato 75 2.3 2.2
Douglas Jameson 40 3.3 3.0
Ferry Ellen 16 6.1 3.6
Grant Blue 36 3.8 3.6
  Deep 91 4.7 3.8
  Park 76 2.9 2.4
  Perch 7 5.3 3.6
  Vic Meyers 8 4.0 3.9
  Warden 65 3.9 3.6
Grays Harbor Aberdeen 63 3.7 2.5
  Failor 32 3.8 2.0
  Sylvia 16 3.9 2.6
  Vance Cr.Pd.#1 112 2.4 1.8
  Vance Cr.Pd.#2 70 2.0 1.4
Jefferson Anderson 60 4.2 3.3
  Horseshoe 5 5.0 0.0
  Ludlow 11 2.7 2.0
  Silent 8 4.0 3.6
King Cottage 37 1.3 0.02
  Geneva 34 3.1 2.6
  Margaret 48 1.8 1.1
  North 30 4.6 2.3
  Pine 33 3.2 0.2
  Walker 22 3.4 2.5
  Wilderness 65 1.4 0.3
Kitsap Buck 14 5.1 3.4
  Horseshoe 20 5.1 3.8
  Mission 35 5.3 4.1
  Wildcat 61 4.9 3.3
Klickitat Horsethief 51 2.6 2.3
  Rowland 51 7.6 3.2
  Spearfish 35 4.7 4.3
Lewis Carlisle 37 14.1 2.0
  Fort Borst Park Pond
(juvenile only)
59   1.5
  Mineral 67 4.0 2.6
  Plummer 23 2.8 1.0
Mason Aldrich 11 5.3 4.7
  Benson 29 6.1 3.5
  Clara 13 5.2 3.5
  Devereaux 31 5.5 3.3
  Haven 26 7.7 2.1
  Howell 11 4.5 4.0
  Limerick 22 4.6 1.0
  Panther 25 12.7 3.6
  Phillips 50 4.8 4.3
  Robins 11 4.3 4.2
  Stump 42 0.9 0.8
  Tiger 25 4.6 3.5
  Wooten 45 4.5 2.8
Okanogan Alta 35 2.7 2.6
  Conconully Lake 46 2.2 2.2
  Conconully Res. 31 4.3 4.3
  Fish 35 2.1 2.1
  Pearrygin 23 5.8 3.8
Pacific Black 45 6.6 3.2
Pend Oreille Diamond 25 3.2 3.2
Pierce Bay 116 5.7 3.8
  Clear 57 4.9 2.8
  Rapjohn 68 4.3 2.4
  Ohop 48 4.1 3.6
  Tanwax 61 4.6 1.9
Skagit Erie 67 4.6 4.6
  Heart 72 3.4 2.9
  McMurray 75 3.5 1.9
Skamania Kidney 45 3.5 3.1
  Swift Reservoir 25 4.9 4.4
Snohomish Armstrong 18 2.9 0.7
  Bosworth 23 3.0 1.0
  Echo 18 3.1 3.1
  Ki 53 5.7 3.8
  Martha 28 4.5 4.5
  Serene 25 3.0 2.3
  Stickney 15 3.4 1.6
  Wagner 12 4.3 3.7
Spokane Badger 61 2.2 2.0
  Clear 22 6.7 3.9
  Fish 52 6.9 2.6
  West Medical 114 5.4 4.3
  Williams 78 5.4 4.2
Stevens Cedar 23 2.4 2.4
  Deep 9 0.0 0.0
  Mudgett 13 1.6 1.6
  Rocky 15 4.5 4.5
  Starvation 39 3.8 3.5
  Waitts 72 3.5 2.4
Thurston Clear 69 5.6 3.6
  Deep 54 4.3 4.1
  Hicks 19 3.9 2.5
  Long 32 9.4 3.6
  McIntosh 66 5.7 3.6
  Pattison 51 5.2 3.2
  Summit 66 4.8 2.8
  Ward 50 4.7 3.4
Whatcom Cain 37 4.0 2.8
  Padden 79 3.4 2.8
  Toad 69 2.5 1.7
TOTALS/Averages   4,076   4.6 avg. 2.8 avg.