Fish Black Friday for big rainbows stocked in six southwest Washington lakes

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is offering prospective anglers opportunities for tight lines rather than long lines on the day after Thanksgiving.

The “holiday specials” include thousands of large trout each averaging 15 to 16 inches and 1-1/4 pounds. Those fish will be stocked in six southwest Washington lakes in time for Black Friday, Nov. 28.

“Fishing is a fall and winter tradition for many Washington anglers,” said Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager. “These fisheries offer a great excuse to skip the malls and enjoy a fun day out on the water with family and friends.”

The six southwest lakes scheduled to receive fish before Black Friday include:

Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County
Kress Lake in Cowlitz County
Rowland Lake in Klickitat County
Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County
All those lakes will be closed to fishing Nov. 24-27, when they will be stocked with hefty trout from the Mossyrock and Goldendale fish hatcheries.

The Black Friday fishing opener is one of several fishing opportunities made available this fall thanks to the department’s extensive fish stocking efforts, said Donley. In total, WDFW has been stocking 47 western Washington lakes with some 340,000 catchable trout during the fall and winter seasons.

A list of lakes stocked and the department’s stocking plan is available for viewing at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/fall-into-fishing/ .

For up-to-date stocking information this fall, anglers should follow the department on Twitter or Facebook, accessible from http://wdfw.wa.gov , or see the department’s weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/ .

Anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2015, to participate in these events.

Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov ; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license vendors across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ .

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King County’s Beaver Lake to receive 2,400 large hatchery rainbow trout

OLYMPIA – Anglers will soon have an opportunity to catch large trout this fall in Beaver Lake near Issaquah, thanks to the release of about 2,400 hatchery rainbows averaging about three pounds each.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will release the fish on Nov. 5. To facilitate fish planting, the agency will close the Beaver Lake access site at sunset on Nov. 4 and reopen the site at sunrise on Nov. 6. Beaver Lake, however, will remain open to fishing while the access site is closed.

The trout are part of an educational display at WDFW’s Issaquah Hatchery. The department releases trout in to Beaver Lake each year to enhance recreational opportunity, said Justin Spinelli, fishery biologist for WDFW.

Beaver Lake is best fished by small boat, although anglers also can be successful fishing from shore, Spinelli said.

WDFW’s access site is most easily reached by way of East Beaver Lake Drive Southeast, off Southeast 24th Street in the city of Sammamish. More information about fishing and access at Beaver Lake can be found at WDFW’s Fish Washington webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/ .

Parking for vehicles and boat trailers is limited, and a valid WDFW Vehicle Access Pass or Discover Pass must be visible in vehicles parked at the access site. For more information about the Vehicle Access Pass and the Discover Pass, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/discoverpass/ .

Beaver Lake is one of several lowland lakes in western Washington open to fishing year-round. Internal combustion boat engines are prohibited on the lake. All anglers 15 years of age and older are required to have a valid fishing license.

The daily limit is five fish, only two of which can exceed 15 inches in length. For details, check the sport fishing rules pamphlet, available on WDFW’s website

Bigger trout await anglers for Father’s Day weekend

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OLYMPIA – Fish hatchery crews will be stocking 10,000 one-and-a half pound triploid rainbow trout in 20 lakes just before Father’s Day weekend, June 14-15.

“This is the third straight year we’ve stocked triploid trout before Father’s Day,” said Chris Donley, inland fish program manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “A fishing license is a great Father’s Day gift and catching these big fish will make for some wonderful memories.”

“Young people and fishing go together,” adds Donley. “Whether or not you can take your father, and whether or not you have a kid of your own, this Father’s Day weekend is a terrific time to catch a memory – and a huge trout.”

Fishing licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov ; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license dealers across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ .

All of the lakes that will be stocked with 15 to 17 inch triploids before Father’s Day have good shore and boat access. More details on fishing locations are available at the Fish Washington website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/ .

The lakes by region and county, and the number of triploids that will be stocked, are as follows:

North Puget Sound Region:

King County: Green Lake, 1,500
Snohomish County: Blackmans Lake, 250; Gissburg Ponds (aka Twin Lakes), 250
Skagit County: Campbell Lake, 250
Whatcom County: Padden Lake, 250
Coastal/Olympic Peninsula Region:

Grays Harbor County: Vance Creek (Elma) Pond #2, 100
Jefferson County: Sandy Shore Lake, 150
Mason County: Mason Lake, 500
Pierce County: American Lake, 1,500
Thurston County: Clear Lake, 250; Hicks Lake, 250
Southwest Region:

Clark County: Horseshoe Lake, 250
Southcentral Region:

Kittitas County: Cooper Lake, 250
Yakima County: Clear Lake, 500
Northcentral Region:

Grant County: Park Lake, 400
Okanogan County: Alta Lake, 350; Conconully Reservoir, 750
Eastern Region:

Spokane County: West Medical Lake, 1,250; Williams Lake, 400
Pend Oreille County: Diamond Lake, 600
Hundreds of other Washington lakes have been stocked with millions of trout over the past year. Fish stocking details, by county and lake, are available in the annual stocking plan on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/statewide/ .

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Trout fishing opens statewide April 26, capping off a month of ‘opening days’

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For many anglers, “opening day” is synonymous with the start of the lowland lakes trout-fishing season, which gets under way April 26 this year. Hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians typically descend on trout-stocked lakes to kick off the state’s biggest outdoor event.

To prepare for the upcoming season, hatchery crews from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have been working since last year to stock more than 16 million fish in hundreds of lakes throughout the state. Anglers can find how many went where at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/

But anglers – and hunters, too – are also looking forward to a variety of other “opening days” this month for outdoor adventures ranging from razor clam digs on ocean beaches to turkey hunting in fields throughout the state. In addition, several Washington communities are hosting festivals this month to mark the seasonal migration of waterfowl and shorebirds.

“April really marks the start of the new year for fishing, hunting, and a wide range of outdoor activities,” said Joe Stohr, WDFW deputy director. “The annual cycle is beginning again and a lot of us are glad to see it arrive.”

For most people, a valid 2014-15 fishing or hunting license will be required to participate in those activities after March 31, when all 2013-14 licenses expire. The exception is young people under age 15, who can fish for free.

Licenses and permits are avaiIable online (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ ), by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state. A list of license vendors (http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ ) is available online and from local WDFW offices around the state.

Key dates to keep in mind in April include:

April 1 – Several dozen lakes in the Columbia Basin open to fishing.

April 4-6 –The first Olympic Peninsula BirdFest takes place in Sequim near the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

April 5-6 – A two-day spring turkey hunt for hunters age 15 and younger is scheduled statewide.

April 14-20 – A seven-day morning razor clam dig is tentatively scheduled on various ocean beaches. For details, see WDFW’s razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html .

April 15 – The general spring turkey hunt opens for hunters of all ages and runs through May 31. See WDFW’s Washington Wild Turkey Spring Season pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/regulations/ for more information.

April 16 – Lingcod fishing season opens in the Neah Bay area (Marine Area 4).

April 25-27 – The Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival, based in Hoquiam, celebrates shorebirds. For information, see http://www.shorebirdfestival.com/ .

April 26 – Hundreds of lakes open to trout fishing across the state for the biggest “opening day” of the year.

Rimrock Lake

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Species:
Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, Kokanee, Brook Trout, Mountain Whitefish, Sucker, and Westslope Cutthroat

About:
This large Tieton River impoundment stretches along Highway US-12, about 10 miles east of White Pass. It is in the Wenatchee National Forest at 2,922 feet elevation (at the spillway). It is open to fishing year-round. Rimrock provides good fishing for eight- to 11-inch kokanee; with a generous kokanee catch limit of 16 fish. Rainbows are also available, some up to 16 inches. This is normally one of the best and most popular kokanee-fishing destinations in Yakima County from early May through August. Trolling and still fishing is effective and chumming is permitted. There is a 5 trout daily limit (excluding kokanee) with no minimum size requirement.

The lake is closed to fishing for bull trout. Please carefully release any bull trout that are inadvertantly hooked.

Location:
South side of White Pass Highway between White Pass summit and the town of Rimrock.

Directions:
Take U.S. 12 east from White Pass or west from Naches. The highway parallels to the north shore of the resevoir for several miles. Turn south on Forest Service Road 12 at either end of Rimrock to reach the south side of the lake.

Facilities:
Forest Service campgrounds that offer tent and RV sites, drinking water, and rest rooms, plus private lodges, boat ramps, stores, gas stations and restaurants are scattered along the highway on the north side of the lake. Boat ramps and campgrounds are also available on the south side of the lake, near the east end.

Boat Launches:
Horseshoe Cove Boat Launch
Penninsula Boat Launch

Contacts:

Rimrock Lake Resort, Silver Beach Resort, Wenatchee National Forest, Naches Ranger District, Getaway Sports (509)672-2239

Fishing Rimrock Lake (Reservoir):
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Some years Rimrock is the most productive lake in Washington for Kokanee, giving uo tens of thousands of these fine eating little Sockeye Salmon in a single summer season. When it’s prime, usually through July, anglers even catch Kokanee from the banks, a rarity in most Northwest Kokanee lakes. Unfortunately, the reservoir’s valuable Kokanee population takes a back seat to agriculture irrigation, which is why Tieton Dam was built and the lake was formed in the first place. A few years ago the lake was drawn down to little more than a river running through a wide basin, but the Department of Fish and Wildlife had time to plan for the event and “saved” large numbers of Kokanee for replanting after the reservoir refilled. As a result, Kokanee fishing is now as nearly as good as it was during its heyday in the middle-eighties. The fish aren’t to big, averaging eight to eleven inches, but there’s a 16-fish daily limit and good anglers have little trouble reaching those numbers in a few good hours.

Strings of trolling blades, followed by Wedding Ring spinners, Needlefish, Double Whammys, and other flashy lures, account for the many of the Kokanee. Tip the hooks with maggots or Berkley Power Wigglers to improve your chances.

The lake is also stocked with Rainbow Trout, which can be caught on all the usuall spoons, spinners, wobbling plugs, and baits. Rimrock holds a few hefty Bull Trout, but if you catch one, you have to release it unharmed and as quickly as possible. Some of the troll caught Rainbows are caught on the Kokanee gear, but you can catch them still fishing with slip sinkers and worms or Power Bait.

rimrock lake

Moses Lake

Species:
Rainbow Trout, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Blugill, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, Brown Bullhead Catfish, Lake Whitefish
Location:
Immediately west of the town of Moses Lake
Directions:
Take interstate 90 to Moses Lake. Exit on Wapato Drive or Broadway (between the two freeway bridges) to reach the south end of the lake or follow the signs to state park just west of the first bridge, To reach the upper portions of the lake, exit north on Highway 17 and follow it three miles up the east side of the lake.
Facilities:
A Washington State Fish and Wildlife boat ramp is located on Pelican Horn, near the south end of the lake, with another located at Moses Lake State Park (day use only), which is just north of the freeway on the lake’s west side.
There’s a city ramp off Adams Street downtown Moses Lake. Cascade Valley County Park, just off of Valley Road near the county fairgrounds, is a decent mid-lake launch. McConihe Park, still known to many as Airmen’s Beach, is the best launch facility on the lake, with a two-lane paved ramp, float, restrooms, and lot’s of parking. It’s well marked on the west side of Highway 17, about two-thirds of the way up the lake. There are a lot of decent restaurants and motels for all types of budgets in Moses Lake, as well as several camping and RV facilities.
Contacts:
Cascade Park Campground http://www.cityofml.com/index.aspx?NID=432
Suncrest Resort http://www.suncrestresort.com/
Hallmark Inn http://www.yelp.com/biz/best-western-hallmark-inn-moses-lake
Latest 2013 Fish Plant:
April 19th WDFG planted 2,550 9″ to 11″ rainbow trout from the Columbia Basin Hatchery.
Fishing Moses Lake:
Located in its namesake City, this body of water has a year-round fishing opportunities for warmwater fish and Rainbow Trout. WDFW fish surveys indicate a high abundance of Walleye and Smallmouth Bass. Walleye in Moses Lake can reach and exceed the 10 pound mark. Smallmouth Bass can reach and exceed the 5 pound mark. Largemouth Bass fishing can be excellent in select areas of Moses Lake. During certain times of the year anglers also catch Rainbow Trout up to 20 inches. Bluegill Sunfish and Black Crappie fishing at times can be very good, but is usually not consistent year-to-year. Yellow Perch fishing is usually very good during the fall through winter when they bunch up into large schools. During certain winters, Moses Lake freezes over offering a good ice fishery for Yellow Perch and Rainbow Trout. The most popular ice fishing location is near Blue Heron Park.

The personality of 6,800 acre Moses Lake has changed a lot over the years. It has been a prime rainbow producer, one of the state’s prime panfish lakes, a place where hefty largemouth bass provide top-notch action, and a place to go where anglers could have a crack at trophy sized smallmouth bass if they did things right. N ow perhaps is best known for its fine-eating walleyes, even though you still have a chance to catch all of the previously mentioned species and more.

Walleye fishing has really come on here since the late eighties, and many anglers agree that Moses Lake is now a better walleye lake than the Potholes Reservoir to the south or Banks Lake to the north, both which have been long recognized as eastern Washington’s top walleye producers. Trolling with spinners and nightcrawler rigs account for a lot of fish at Moses, but don’t hesitate to work small leadheads with tube skirts or three-inch grubs around the submerged rock piles and boulder patches. You shouldn’t have to go to heavy with those sinkers or jigs, since the lake has few spots where the depth goes beyond 15 feet deep. Early spring provides some of the best walleye action on this lake.

While walleye reproduce on their own in Moses Lake, most of the rainbows come from local fish hatcheries. The WDFG typically stocks the lake with 150,000 to 180,00 small rainbows every year, and they provide plenty of good fishing in the spring and fall. Anglers who troll and stillfish share the action, and tend to spend more time around the south-end of the lake than in the northern portion.

There was a time when anglers came from all over the state to catch Moses Lake’s panfish, especially crappies and bluegill. They enjoyed fantastic fishing, and some where pigs about it. Reports of anglers catching 150, 200, and even 300 or more crappies in a given weekend, then taking them home to Seattle and selling them illegally, prompted limit reduction here several years ago. Although there are still some bluegills and panfish, five-fish daily limits are now in effect to help spread the catch around. There is a minimum size limit of eight inches for bluegills and ten inches for crappies also apply here. The best way to catch bluegills here is to work a small BeetleSpin lure, half a worm, a Berkley Power Wiggler, or other small bait in and around heavy brush cover. A small with a red and white Mini Jig suspended three or four feet below it is a good medicine for crappies. Panfish action warms up in April and continues right through summer and the fall.

Smallmouth bass fishing at Moses can be great at times, but the Largemouth can be a little on the tough side at Moses, and you’ll have to work for every fish you hook unless you fish the lake regularly enough to keep abreast of where the fish are located and what they’re hitting. I would work spinnerbaits around the rock piles and submerged reefs on the northern half of the lake, but decent numbers of bass are also caught around the islands and the shoreline structure at the south end of the lake. Spring fishing here is the best for bass.

Fishing Tournament Dates:
05/04 & 05/05 is the Nixon Marine Bass Tournament Open to the public.
05/11 & 05/12 is the Coastal Bassmasters Tournament members only, on that same date is the Potholes Bass Club’s tournament also members only.
05/18 is the Al Baker Memorial which is open to the public and is an all game fish tournament.
06/01 & 06/02 is the Central Washington Fish Advisory Committee’s Walleye tournament open to the public.
06/01 is the Fishing Kids Moses Lake Trout tournament for Juveniles
09/28/2013 & 09/29/2013 is the Northend Bass Club Bass Tournament for members only.
10/05/2013 & 10/06/2013 is the Long Lake Bass Club Bass Tournament for members only.
10/05/2013 Potholes Bass Club Bass Tournament for members only.

Duck Lake

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Species:
Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout, Large-Mouth Bass, Bluegill, and Crappie.
Location:
South of Ocean Shores
Directions:
Take Highway 109 west from Hoquiam for 14 miles to Highway 115. Turn south (left) and drive through Ocean Shores. Turn left on Chance A La Mer and drive three blocks to the boat ramp near the north end of the lake or continue south for one mile to Ocean Lake Way, turn left, and drive a quarter of a mile to Duck Lake Drive. Turn right and follow Duck Lake Drive one mile to the southern boat ramp.
Facilities:
There ramp nearest the north end of the lake is suitable for launching bigger boats, and the southern ramp is more favorable to car toppers ans smaller crafts. Ocean Shores has all of your amenities.
2013 Trout Plants:
May 10, 2013 Rainbow (377) Satsop Springs Ponds Average 6 lbs each.
May 08, 2013 Rainbow (573) 14″-16″ Humptulips Hatchery
Apr 22, 2013 Rainbow (200) 14″-16″ Humptulips Hatchery
Apr 22, 2013 Rainbow (2,500) 14″-16″ Humptulips Hatchery
Mar 26, 2013 Rainbow (1,000) 2.5 fish per pound Humptulips Hatchery
Mar 26, 2013 Rainbow (240) 14″-16″ Humptulips Hatchery
Mar 24, 2013 Rainbow (250) Satsop Springs Ponds Average 4 lbs. each.
Fishing Duck Lake:
As a child in the early 1970’s I fished this lake and its canals on many occasions. I remember standing at the end of the canal by the marina and looking down from its two piers and seeing MONSTER sized Large-Mouth Bass in the 6 to 10 lb. range. This long shallow lake with a coffee like colored water offers an interesting mix to any angler who takes the time to learn its secrets. Both the trout and bass grow to lunker sized proportions in this rich lake full of minerals.
For rainbows, try trolling with small Kwikfish or Flatfish or any lure of this sort that would vibrate in this not so clear water. Also another method would be the ole’ still fishing with a slip sinker, 48″ leader, and a nightcrawler.
The few anglers that come to fly-fish can do well in the afternoon with various nymph patterns, or in the evening with dry-flies. Spinnerbaits and various plastics work well for the bass, and during the summer it’s easy to coax them to the surface with a plug, poppers, or buzz baits.
If you want bluegills, try casting a Beetle Spin or a Berkley Power Spin to shoreline brush piles and the overhanging willows, especially when they congregate for spawning in the spring and early summer. Some of the bluegills I have caught where huge! But, in the end I think nightcrawlers in this lake work the best for all of the species in Duck Lake. Tight Lines!

Here is a nice Duck Lake Bass!

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Opening Day Fishing in Washington Part 1: The Hatchery Component & Opening Day Fishing in Washington Part 2: The Fishing Experience

Martha Lake, Snohomish County