Despite April Showers, Washington Trout Opener ‘Another Statewide Success’

A 29-inch rainbow trout, 20-minute limit and high catch rates at several lakes in the greater Seattle area were among the highlights of the start of Washington’s lowland lakes season.

THE SPOKANE AREA’S WILLIAMS LAKE WAS AMONG SEVERAL THAT YIELDED 20-PLUS-INCH TROUT, AS WELL AS WDFW DERBY WINNERS, LIKE THIS TAGGED FISH. (WDFW)

“Opening Day 2018 was another statewide success story, although one of the common themes statewide was the weather,” reported WDFW’s Bruce Bolding. “It was gray and rainy off and on, which seemed to keep some anglers indoors, however the other common theme was lots of happy anglers because fishing, for the most part was very good.”

That whopper was caught at Grays Harbor County’s Inez lake while the fast fishing occurred at Skagit County’s Heart Lake.

State biologists say they saw catch rates of 9.8 fish per angler at King County’s Lake Langlois, 8.5 at Snohomish County’s Storm Lake and 8.2 at Lake Ki, 8.1 at Mason County’s Panther, 6.7 at King’s Pine Lake and 6.6 at Whatcom County’s Toad Lake, indicating anglers were able to catch and release fish as they worked towards their five-trout limit.

“The other common theme, which seemed more pronounced than last year, was the number of tagged derby fish that were caught, all across the state,” says Bolding. “This was really great news. There were tagged fish caught in each district throughout the state (with the exception of Region 3, where we have no creel data because there are no Opening Day lakes. There are however, tagged fish in Region 3).”

Here are more details from WDFW on catches, information that can also be found here: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/creel/lowland/

Chelan County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Wapato Lake 53 72 1.36 1.4 17-inch Rainbow Trout The overcast and rainy conditions off and on all morning (and heavy at times) could have been a factor in how poor the fishing was.
Douglas County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Jameson Lake 40 143 3 3.65 3.6 14-inch Rainbow Trout Cloudy, cool weather. On average, the fish were smaller than last year, but overall, anglers were happy just to be out fishing.
Ferry County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Lake Ellen 14 63 8 5.1 4.5 17-inch Rainbow Trout Rainy weather, but fishing was good. Lots of happy anglers!
Grant County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Blue Lake 42 137 3.3 3.3 15-inch Rainbow Trout Anglers were happy with both the size and catchability of the trout in Blue Lake.
Deep Lake 51 147 43 3.8 2.9 13-inch Rainbow Trout Lots of effort once the weather got better, but anglers were not especially happy about the size of the fish.
Park Lake 62 289 11 4.8 4.6 15-inch Rainbow Trout The number of people increased once the rains stopped and the wind died down. Most fish were 2017 fingerlings. Fat and good fighters. Shore anglers had good success, especially from the dock.
Warden Lake 31 40 10 1.6 1.3 13-inch Rainbow Trout
Grays Harbor County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Failor Lake 42 108 61 4 2.6 22-inch Rainbow Trout The anglers here were happy and there was one Derby-tagged fish caught.
Lake Aberdeen 36 70 91 4.5 1.9 24-inch Rainbow Trout Weather limited participation and length of time fished.
Lake Bowers 26 32 38 2.7 1.2 24-inch, 7lb. Rainbow Trout Kid’s derby brought anglers early, but rainy weather limited their stay.
Lake Inez 34 49 16 1.9 1.4 29-inch Rainbow Trout The catch rate was low but two Derby-tagged fish were caught.
Lake Silvia 5 1 7 1.6 0.2 18-inch Rainbow Trout The wather was rainy and there were very few anglers, with many fishing for only an hour.
Jefferson County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Sandy Shore 28 27 35 2.2 1 25-inch Rainbow Trout Fairly slow fishing and most fish were smaller than 12 inches., however, there were several large Rainbow Trout in the 20-25 inch range. All fish looked very healthy with good fins.
Silent Lake 2 10 5 5 12-inch Rainbow Trout All the fish looked very healthy.
Tarboo 13 13 31 3.4 1 22-inch Rainbow Trout It rained all morning and most of the afternoon, but fishing success was good.
King County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Cottage Lake 57 159 29 3.3 2.8 14-inch Rainbow Trout 1 Derby-tagged fish caught.
Geneva Lake 14 60 5 4.6 4.3 13-inch Rainbow Trout
Langlois Lake 43 176 247 9.8 4.1 16-inch Rainbow Trout 1 Derby-tagged fish caught. Anglers were happy in spite of the rain because almost all of them limited
Margaret Lake 28 81 52 4.8 2.9 12-inch Rainbow Trout
North Lake 13 34 34 5.2 2.6 16-inch Rainbow Trout The surface bite was good for trolling.
Pine Lake 63 182 241 6.7 2.9 17-inch Rainbow Trout 1 Derby-tagged fish caught.
Steel Lake 13 42 3.2 3.2 13-inch Rainbow Trout
Walker Lake 9 40 14 6 4.4 13-inch Rainbow Trout
Wilderness Lake 46 117 92 4.5 2.5 18-inch Rainbow Trout
Kitsap County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Horseshoe (Kit) 15 39 12 3.4 2.6 24-inch Rainbow Trout There was heavy rain from 7:00-10:00 and lighter for remainder of day. One Derby-tagged fish caught.
Mission 24 59 76 5.6 2.5 there was rain for most of the morning, but anglers very satisfied and the fishing was good.
Panther 19 64 89 8.1 3.4 12-inch Rainbow Trout Rain at 7 am, stopped about 10:30. Most anglers were very happy. There was pretty even flow of boats leaving and entering the lake all day. There seemed to be much better succes by boaters than shore/dock anglers. Boat anglers said the fish were easy to catch on hardware (Vibrax spinners, Triple Teasers, Rooster tails, and wedding ring rigs). Very few used bait of any kind. All boaters said they had a very successful day.
Wildcat 25 71 6 3.1 2.8 12-inch Rainbow Trout There was moderate to heavy rain most of day but anglers were very happy with the fishing. It was quite successful, with most anglers limiting fairly easily. Best day of creel sampling ever by the sampler on this lake.
Wye 21 30 40 3.3 1.4 20-inch Rainbow Trout The fishing was generally poor and rain for most of day reduced effort. Bait fishing was not as effecive as lure fishing. Most fish were around 12 inches.
Klickitat County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Horsethief Lake 115 12 3 0.1 0.1 Anglers were very happy about the larger fish. The smallest fish caught was 16 inches.
Spearfish Lake 131 13 1 0.1 0.1
Lewis County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Carlisle Lake 78 77 136 2.7 1
Ft. Borst Lake 73 93 43 1.9 1.3 2 Derby-tagged fish were caught.
Mineral Lake 76 217 151 4.8 2.9
Plummer Lake 15 14 52 4.4 0.9 Anglers reported that most fish seemed small (under 9 inches), which was the reason for the high number of fish released. Most anglers fish from boats.
Mason County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Aldrich Lake 18 68 3 3.9 3.8 12-inch Rainbow Trout There were lots of kids fishing with their parents. The camping area was full for the 3 days prior to Opening Day.
Benson 25 31 31 3 1.1 14-inch Rainbow Trout It rained most of morning and fishing was considered only fair, however most anglers were happy with the good quality of the catchables.
Clara 14 44 5 3.5 3.1 14-inch Rainbow Trout It was rainy most of the day and the fishing was a bit slow.
Haven Lake 14 54 63 4.5 3.9 14-inch Rainbow Trout There were many happy anglers with good success rates from both shore and boats, using both bait and lures. There were some complaints about the weather.
Howell Lake 7 13 1.9 1.9 17-inch Rainbow Trout It was rainy and the fishing was slow but there was one 17-inch caryover caught. There was also and eagle and an osprey joining the fishing effort on the lake.
Limerick 21 31 15 2 1.5 25-inch Rainbow Trout It rained most of the day but there were some larger fish present from the local HOA Derby. The anglers were generally happy with the quality of the fishing.
Phillips Lake 7 10 4 2 1.4 18-inch Rainbow Trout The stready rain and wind seemed to reduce the number of anglers
Robbins Lake 13 34 13 3.6 2.6 20-inch Rainbow Trout There was one 20-inch broodfish caught although the size of the catchables were smaller than last year
Tiger Lake 29 61 36 3.3 2.1 14-inch Rainbow Trout The fishing was good but not great. It rained most of morning.
Wooten Lake 25 94 14 4.3 3.8 15-inch Rainbow Trout The fishing was good and the anglers were happy for the most part, in spite of the rain for most of the morning.
Okanogan County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Alta Lake 20 10 1 0.55 0.5 14-inch Rainbow Trout Heavy rains until 11 a.m. put a damper on catch rates, but anglers were in good spirits. The number of anglers targeting Kokanee really increased from last year.
Conconully Lake 42 83 24 2.55 2 17-inch Kokanee Heavy rains slowed trout catch rates, but Kokanee sizes were great! One angler caught 4 Kokanee (all 16- or 17-inches).
Pearrygin Lake 35 105 20 3.57 3 13-inch Rainbow Trout Fishing was slow before 10 a.m, but it really picked up when the weather cleared.
Pacific County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Black Lake 46 55 11 1.4 1.2 21-inch Rainbow Trout there was light angling pressure and a slow bite.
Cases Pond 18 42 40 4.6 2.3 17-inch Rainbow Trout The weather kept the fishing day short for many anglers.
Pend Oreille County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Diamond Lake 28 43 29 2.6 1.5 23-inch Rainbow Trout Rainy and cool. Fishing was fair, but it seemed that the rain kept a lot of anglers away.
Pierce County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Bay Lake 21 73 10 4 3.5
Carney 16 15 7 1.4 0.9
Clear Lake 52 183 28 4.1 3.5 Fantastic fishing and the fish were large.
Crescent 19 60 38 5.2 3.2
Jackson Lake 4 1 0.3 0.3
Ohop 8
Rapjohn 27 106 45 5.6 3.9
Silver Lake 30 30 49 2.6 1
Tanwax 19 8 4 0.6 0.4
Skagit County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Erie Lake 29 64 5 2.4 2.2 16-inch Rainbow Trout The wet and cold weather conditions made for some slow fishing.
Heart Lake 57 83 110 3.4 1.5 23-inch Rainbow Trout There was one 20-minute limit but there was relatively low effort effort on this lake. The weather could have been a factor.
McMurray Lake 50 38 47 1.7 0.8 17-inch Rainbow Trout In spite of the low effort and catch rate, there were many fish over 12 inches.
Sixteen Lake 28 69 132 7.2 2.5 14-inch Rainbow Trout 1 Derby-tagged fish was caught.
Snohomish County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Bosworth Lake 21 70 27 4.6 3.3 17-inch Rainbow Trout
Echo Lake (Maltby) 12 37 30 5.6 3.1 12-inch Rainbow Trout
Howard Lake 37 82 53 3.6 2.2 17-inch Rainbow Trout
Ki Lake 35 110 178 8.2 3.1 15-inch Rainbow Trout The anglers seemed happy in spite of the rain.
Martha Lake (Alderwood Manor) 31 56 49 3.4 1.8 17-inch Rainbow Trout There were fewer kids than last year, likely due to the poor weather conditions.
Serene Lake 13 27 15 3.2 2.1 14-inch Rainbow Trout
Stickney Lake 18 51 64 6.4 2.8 14-inch Rainbow Trout
Storm Lake 41 111 238 8.5 2.7 14-inch Rainbow Trout
Wagner Lake 12 31 30 5.1 2.6 18-inch Rainbow Trout There were many holdovers caught.
Spokane County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Badger Lake 35 104 24 3.7 3 21-inch Rainbow Trout Participation was good. Fishing was slow due to rainy/windy weather but it improved around 10:00 am. One tagged Derby fish was checked.
Clear Lake 22 18 14 1.5 0.8 20-inch Rainbow Trout A good mix of Rainbows and Browns were caught. There was decent participation but rain and wind were factors. There were also quite a few people fishing from docks.
Fish Lake 32 26 26 1.6 0.8 16-inch Brown Trout Fishing was slow overall. Several 14-15 inch Brook Trout were caught. Low catch/harvest may be due to weather or the dense Yellow Perch population.
West Medical 34 39 3 1.2 1.1 19-inch Rainbow Trout There was a high proportion of larger rainbows in the creel (averaging about 15 inches). A 17-inch Brown Trout and 16-inch Tiger Trout were also checked. Few fry plants were observed. Rainy and windy, but decent number of anglers.
Williams Lake 31 111 58 5.5 3.6 24 & 25-inch Rainbow Trout Lots of happy anglers out enjoying opening day. The 24 and 25-inch Rainbow trout were caught by a mother and son. Busy boat launch despite bad weather.
Spokane/Lincoln County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Fishtrap Lake 50 81 50 2.6 1.6 22-inch Rainbow Trout Pretty good turnout and the anglers were happy the lake has returned to good trout fishing after last year’s rehabilitation.
Stevens County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Cedar Lake 29 59 41 3.5 2 20-inch Rainbow Trout It rained off and on all morning, but fishing was good. Lots of carryovers in the catch. One WDFW Derby tagged fish caught and kept.
Mudgett Lake 25 100 4 4 19-inch Rainbow Trout Good fishing. Most fish larger than 14 inches. Lots of happy anglers.
Rocky Lake 11 32 32 5.8 2.9 21-inch Rainbow Trout Rainy and cool, but pretty good fishing. Everyone was really happy with the size of fish they caught.
Starvation Lake 16 33 5 2.4 2.1 23-inch Rainbow Trout Nice fish, but rain kept a lot of anglers away. One WDFW Fishing Derby tagged fish was caught and harvested.
Waitts Lake 50 123 13 2.7 2.5 19-inch Rainbow Trout Good fishing, but angler turnout was low due to rainy, cool weather. Catch was a pretty even mix of Rainbows and Browns. One WDFW Fishing Derby tagged fish was caught.
Thurston County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Clear Lake 48 123 44 3.5 2.6 Anglers were happy and there were some large trout being caught.
Deep Lake 12 13 18 2.6 1.1
Hicks Lake 43 83 69 3.5 1.9
McIntosh Lake 41 19 19 0.9 0.5
Pattison Lake 26 8 11 0.7 0.3
Summit Lake 29 88 97 6.4 3
Ward Lake 8 5 9 1.8 0.6
Whatcom County
Lake Name # Anglers
Checked
Total #
Fish Kept
Total #
Fish
Released
Avg. # Fish
Caught per
Angler
Avg. # Fish
Kept per
Angler
Largest Fish
(Species/TL)
Highlights
Cain Lake 37 139 119 7 3.8 18-inch Rainbow Trout
Padden Lake 37 84 22 2.9 2.3 14-inch Rainbow Trout The average size of the trout caught today was just over 12 inches.
Silver Lake 194 449 622 5.5 2.3 18-inch Rainbow Trout
Toad Lake 49 172 152 6.6 3.5 16-inch Rainbow Trout

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