The Washington Outdoor Report - week of June 22

Too Many Hikers

Lily pads and basalt cliffs define the views at Downs Lake. Courtesy J. Kruse

Robin DeMario with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest sounded the alarm recently about crowded conditions on 8-Mile Road south of Leavenworth.  This road leads to two popular trailheads for 8-Mile Lake and to Stuart and Colchuck Lakes. The latter trailhead is a favored pathway into the Enchantments.  Earlier this month video was released showing vehicles parked on both sides of the road for much of its length because the trailhead parking lots were full. It got to the point emergency vehicles could not get through to the trailheads.
Parking is not allowed along the roadway and the Forest Service is issuing tickets to the owners of vehicles that do so. Visitors are also reminded not to park in designated spots for overnight camping permit holders. Officials with the U.S. Forest Service say visitor use in this area has increased dramatically over the last decade and both the trailheads and adjacent parking areas are “well beyond their capacity” putting a strain on the limited parking and toilet facilities available.  
Camping Equipment For Rent
Washington State Parks is partnering with Arrive Outdoors to provide rental equipment for your next camping trip. For a low daily rate, you can rent everything you need for a weekend getaway (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, cooler, camp chairs) for one, two or four people. There are plenty of related accessories available for rent too. Sarah Yearout with Washington State Parks says this program is perfect for those who live in cramped spaces and don’t have the room to store camping gear. It’s also a great way to introduce individuals to camping for the first time for a low price. http://arriveoutdoors.com
Fishing Reports
Fish Lake – Chelan County – Nadine West at the Cove Resort says the fishing has been very good when the wind isn’t blowing too hard. Anglers have been catching a lot of perch right off the dock over the last couple of weeks. However, the perch are starting to move into deeper water so fishing from a boat might be a better way to target them in the weeks ahead.  Trout fishing has also been good. West says the average trout are fat and measure 12 to 14-inches long. In addition to this, large triploid trout were planted in Fish Lake and a five-plus pounder was recently caught by a lucky angler.
Little Pend Oreille Lakes – Stevens County - The staff at the Beaver Lodge Resort say crappie are being caught in good numbers out of Gillette Lake. The hot bait has been marshmallows and worms. A few folks are also catching trout there too.
Downs Lake – Lincoln County – I paddled around this lily pad rich lake in a kayak last week. The scenery was beautiful and the weather was nice but the fishing was slow with only one pan-sized rainbow trout to show for my efforts. That doesn’t mean the fish aren’t here though. Downs Lake typically fishes well in the summer for trout, perch and largemouth bass and is worth a visit. Lake access (for a small fee) is available through Downs Lake Resort.
Potholes Reservoir – Grant County - Pete Fisher at MarDon Resort reports walleye fishing is good. They are shallow and in the weeds in 2 to 15 feet of water so you’ll want to fish tight along the weed lines to get strikes. The bass bite is also good with 2 to 4-pound fish being taken in the usual hot spots. Crappie and bluegill are being caught off the MarDon Resort dock and also back in the sand dunes area of the reservoir. As for the rainbow trout, anglers have been reeling those in near the State Park and some of them are pretty big (2 to 5 pounds)
Limit Out Marine Shoot Out (bass tournament)
Finally, if you are a competitive bass angler the Limit Out Marine Shoot Out (bass tournament) is taking place on Potholes Reservoir and MarDon Resort on July 11 and 12. Details are available at http://bigbasstrail.com

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