The Washington Outdoor Report - week of May 3

Opening Day Trout Fishing Report

Courtesy John Kruse A typical hatchery trout caught with a Mack’s Cripplure.

The lowland lake opener is generally the most popular day of the year for fishing. Thousands of anglers young, old and in between venturing to stocked lakes around the state hoping to catch a quick limit of stocked rainbow trout. While interest in fishing is at an all-time high, cool weather and rain put a damper on the number of people who decided to fish on Opening Day last Saturday.


Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife creel checkers made the rounds on the 24th and surveyed the anglers they came into contact with. Steve Caromile, the WDFW Inland Fish Program Manager, released a summary of what they observed:


Okanogan County


Pearrygin Lake – Lots of kids were fishing here and the catching was good too with 4.3 trout caught per angler on average. The biggest fish of the day? A 20-inch rainbow trout.


Alta Lake – This longtime opening day favorite near Pateros drew 64 anglers who fished in the rain but only caught 1.5 trout each on average. However, the largest trout pulled out of the lake was a dandy 22-inch rainbow.s


Stevens County


Cedar Lake – Nine fishermen and women caught 41 trout, many of them measuring 11 to 13 inches long.


Mudgett Lake – Eighteen individuals reeled in 49 trout averaging 13 inches, the largest fish caught was nearly 20-inches long.


Rocky Lake – Only nine people were fishing but they were having a great time, catching 111 trout between them, the majority of which were released.


Starvation Lake – Creel checkers reported the fishing was slower than normal with anglers averaging only 1.7 trout each. One of these fish though was a tagged fish from this year’s statewide trout derby.


Waitts Lake – The turnout and catch rate was also slow here this year due to the weather. Anglers averaged just under 2 trout apiece and the largest fish caught was an 18-inch brown trout.


Ferry County


Lake Ellen – Six anglers were checked who had caught 30 fish, ten of which were released.



Pend Oreille County


Diamond Lake – Eleven anglers who were surveyed caught 38 trout, the largest a 15-inch rainbow.


Douglas County


Jameson Lake – A good crowd was here for the opener despite the weather. A total of 70 anglers kept 240 fish, the vast majority of them rainbow trout though a few kokanee were also in the mix.


Chelan County


Wapato Lake – Fishing wasn’t bad but it was definitely slower than in years past with anglers averaging 2.5 trout each.


Grant County


Park – This lake bordering Sun Lakes State Park gave up just under two trout for anglers on average but there were a number of good-sized carryover fish.


Blue – This popular Sun Lakes body of water drew more anglers than anywhere else in our reading area but the fishing wasn’t very good. Many anglers ended up with less than one trout for their efforts.


Warden – What used to be one of the best opening day fishing lakes near the small town of Warden still draws a good crowd and anglers here enjoyed a good catch rate of 3 ½ trout per angler.


Klickitat County


Rowland Lake – The most popular opening day lake in Klickitat County drew 58 anglers who enjoyed good fishing with an average of 3.7 trout each.


Spearfish Lake – Twelve anglers braved the wind and the rain to catch 19 trout.


Horsethief Lake – Only a few anglers were fishing at the State Park here and they averaged two trout apiece.


On the bright side, with catch rates so low in many places, there will be plenty of trout on the bite in the weeks to come!



John Kruse – and





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