Chinook and Coho Salmon, Cutthroat Trout, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pikeminnow, Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout, Sculpin, Tiger Muskie & Yellow Perch
West of Mossyrock in Lewis County.
Take U.S.12 east from Interstate 5 about 17 miles to the lake. Turn left (north) at Silver Creek to reach Ike Kinswa State Park on the north side of the lake or cross over the lake on U.S.12 and go just about a mile to Mayfield Lake County Park.
Kinswa State Park has RV and tent sites, rest rooms, and a boat launch. Matfield Lake County Park offers rest rooms and a boat launch. Snacks and beverages are located at the small stores around the lake. All other amenities can be found in Mossyrock.
Rules and Regulations:
Open year around, there is an 8-inch minimum size on trout. All cutthroat trout in Mayfield Lake and in tributary Tilton River must be released. Remember, only adipose clipped rainbow trout may be retained in Mayfield Lake and the Tilton River. Currently the minimum size limit for muskies is 50 inch.
Fishing Mayfield Lake:
The reservoir is 13 miles long, averages about 1/2 mile wide, covers 2,250 surface acres, and has 33.5 miles of shoreline. It has two major arms, Winston Cove and Tilton Cove. The current state record of 31.25 lbs. came from this lake several years ago, and occasionally 25 to 30 lb. class tiger muskies are caught here. It is generally best to fish this lake in the middle of the week, not only because of crowded boat ramps and heavy boat traffic on weekends, but also because Tacoma Power may release water over the spillway on weekends to put water in the river below for recreational fishermen. The best time to fish Mayfield for tiger muskies is from mid-June into September, although the tiger muskies remain catchable until early October. Radio tracking studies indicate they suspend in deep water and are inactive in winter and early spring. Washington Fish and Wildlife studies show that they feed almost only on northern pikeminnow also known as squawfish.
This reservoir was formed by the construction of Mayfield Dam. It is managed for catchable rainbow trout and warmwater species. Tiger muskies were introduced in 1993 to help in controlling nuisance northern pikeminnow (squawfish) populations. Water enters Mayfield Lake from the Mossyrock Dam (backing up Riffe Lake) above, and exits through the turbines or (rarely) over the spillway of Mayfield Dam into the Cowlitz River below. Under normal reservoir operating conditions, the maximum water level fluctuation is 10 feet. There are two safety barriers above the dam, consisting of a log boom and a steel pontoon boom. Watercraft are not allowed in the restricted zone between the log barrier and the dam. The most important thing you need to remember about Tiger Muskie fishing is that they spend most of their time within six feet of the surface. Spinner baits and Blacktail Spinners in black, red, brown, and various other color combinations of these colors will take them, as will five to seven inch shallow diving plugs and surface plugs the same size. Mayfield’s two structure types are weeds and wood. The large weed flat opposite Tilton Cove holds the majority of this lake’s tiger muskies. Weeds in Winston Cove also hold fish. Look for shoreline areas with underwater stumps and logs. The best time is mid-week on cloudy days. Now that the Tiger Muskies have gotten abundant and are reproducing on the abundant squawfish, once again the state has started planting the lake with rainbows. Planted as fingerlings they soon grow to catchable size in the 12 to 14 inch range. Most of the locals troll with Pop Geer and worms for their trout, but Kwikfish, Triple Teasers, Rooster Tails, and my favorite the Wedding Band Spinner works well. Don’t be surprised when your fishing for rainbow’s that you hook into a small coho or chinook salmon from Riffe Lake and the Tilton River where they commonly make their way into the mix of the trout population. The large-mouth fishing is scattered around the lake, but if you set your mind to it so be it. Try fishing along the high bank on the north side of the lake, west of the state park. There are submerged rocks that can be found here around the entrance of the Cowlitz Arm.
Largemouth Bass can also be found in Mayfield Lake in the weed beds and in the Tilton River arm. Warm weather can bring explosive top water action. Plastic worms, crank bait and spinner baits are good choices here. Smallmouth Bass have been planted in Mayfield Lake but have not been as successful as in neighboring Rife Lake.
Perch fishing is great most of the year with the best catches taken near the weed beds or in the Tilton River Arm. This is easy fishing, just drop a worm over the side or from the bank and wait for the 10 to 14 inch fish