HomeHEADLINESHEADLINESWeather Cooperates On WA Opener; Best Fishing Still Ahead

Weather Cooperates On WA Opener; Best Fishing Still Ahead

“It seems like most years we are fighting either rain, wind, or cold weather on the lowland lake opener, at least here in western Washington. There may have been a little wind in the gorge or in parts of eastern Washington, but for the most part the weather cooperated around the state and there seemed to be a lot of happy anglers.”

So reported WDFW Inland Fish Program Manager Steve Caromile late this afternoon of Washington’s Opening Day of lowland lakes fishing season.

ROLAND SWOPES SHOWS OFF A SPOKANE-AREA RAINBOW TROUT CAUGHT ON 2021’S OPENING DAY. (COAST FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

“Catch rates were excellent in some lakes and decent in many lakes. But the rain (and snow and hail) and unsteady barometer over the past few weeks kept many lakes at slightly cooler temperatures than what we often see. Some lakes were still in the low 40’s, and others were still in the middle of turnover, neither of which is great for fishing. Catch rates should be improving over the next few weeks,” Caromile added.

He said that WDFW fish checkers, biologists and others spoke to 2,432 anglers who had kept 7,794 fish as well as released 2,629.

After 2020’s fishing and hunting halt due to the governor’s wider pandemic order, this is the second straight year the fourth-Saturday-in-April opener has been held on time.

Here are reports from around the Evergreen State:

FERRY COUNTY
Lake Ellen: 13 anglers with 8 kept fish, 0.62 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: Rainbow Trout/16″
Notes: Nice weather. Low angler turnout. Low water temperature made for tough fishing.

PEND OREILLE COUNTY
Diamond Lake: 17 anglers with 6 kept fish, 0.35 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: Rainbow Trout/20″
Notes: Warm, sunny day, but water temp was very cold. Slow fishing.

STEVENS COUNTY
Cedar Lake: 6 anglers with 20 kept fish, 2.67 kept per angler; 2 fish released
Largest: Rainbow trout/17.5″
Notes: Water temperature was cold (44 degrees F), so fishing was slow, but really nice fry plant and  carryovers. Will fish great in May. 

Mudget Lake: 15 anglers with 20 kept fish, 1.33 kept per angler; 2 fish released
Largest: Rainbow trout/18″
Notes: Weather was good, but fishing was slow due to low water temp. Most of the catch made up of fish  over 14 inches. 

Bulk Ammo In-Stock

Rocky Lake: 5 anglers with 7 kept fish, 1.4 kept per angler; 3 fish released
Largest: Rainbow trout/15″
Notes: Low angler turnout. Really nice fry plant and carryovers, but water temperature was in the low to mid 40’s. Will be good once it warms up.

Starvation Lake: 27 anglers with 2 kept fish, .07 kept per angler; 2 fish released
Largest: Rainbow trout/20″
Notes: Fishing was very slow despite catchables planted and good numbers of carryovers in pre-season  sampling. Water was very cold, in the low 40’s. 

Waitts Lake: 12 anglers with 12 kept fish, 1.00 kept per angler; 20 fish released
Largest: Brown Trout/19″
Notes: Beautiful sunny day with no wind, but water temperature was only 45 degrees. 

SPOKANE COUNTY
West Medical Lake: 66 anglers with 66 fish kept, 1.00 kept per angler; 24 fish released
Largest: Rainbow trout/23″
Notes: –

Badger Lake: 37 anglers with 67 fish kept, 1.8 kept per angler; 28 fish released
Largest: 18.5″ fry plant
Notes: –

Fish Lake: 17 anglers with 17 fish kept, 1.00 kept per angler; 7 fish released
Largest: 15″ Brook Trout, brood 
Notes: –

Williams Lake: 20 anglers with 33 fish kept, 1.65 kept per angler; 34 fish released
Largest: 21″ RB
Notes: – 

Fishtrap Lake: 30 anglers with 36 fish kept, 1.2 kept per angler; 13 fish released
Largest: 20″ RB
Notes: – 

Clear Lake: 17 anglers with 23 fish kept, 1.4 kept per angler; 37 fish released
Largest: 19″ RB
Notes: – 

REGION 1 TOTALS 282 anglers with 317 fish kept, 1.1 kept per angler; 172 fish released

OKANOGAN COUNTY
Pearrygin Lake: 22 anglers with 6 fish kept, 0.27 kept per angler; 1 fish released
Largest: RBT 19″
Notes: Weather was sunny and 65F. (rainy and cold last few years on opening day).

GRANT COUNTY

Park Lake: 38 anglers with 81 fish kept, 2.13 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: RBT 19″
Notes: Great weather, some yearlings in the catch along with carryovers and some fall catchables.

Blue Lake: 46 anglers with 53 fish kept, 1.15 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: RBT 18.5″
Notes: Great weather very happy anglers, big fish

Deep Lake: 57 anglers with 219 fish kept, 3.84 kept per angler; 22 fish released
Largest: RBT 15″
Notes: Great weather, happy anglers, good looking fish.

ADAMS COUNTY

Warden Lake: 47 anglers with 167 fish kept, 3.55 kept per angler; 32 fish released
Largest: RBT 13.5″
Notes: Great weather, very satisfied anglers.

DOUGLAS

Jameson Lake: 17 anglers with 77 kept fish, 4.5 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: RBT 19.5″
Notes: Weather was calm and sunny, many happy anglers. The 19.5 inch rainbow ended up being a tagged. derby fish from 2021. Unfortunately Not many completed anglers to check, but they were pleased  with the overall size of the RBT which many of them ranged from 14 to 18″ 

CHELAN COUNTY

Wapato Lake: 57 anglers with 191 kept fish, 3.4 kept per angler; 6 fish released
Largest: RBT 20″, Kok 17″
Notes: Of the fish checked, 21 were Kokanee which averaged 16 inches. Weather was sunny and windy, but  anglers were happy to be out on the water. 

REGION 2 TOTALS: 284 anglers with 794 kept fish, 2.8 kept per angler; 71 fish released

KING COUNTY

Cottage Lake: 25 anglers with 63 kept fish, 2.52 kept per angler; 21 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 17″
Notes: Weather was great…no rain, majority of people were super happy, it got a bit territorial especially on the dock. I  missed several people leaving because the ones I was talking to, kept talking. most everyone knew about  the derby and were excited about it! 

Geneva Lake: 22 anglers with 64 kept fish, 2.91 kept per angler; 126 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 12.75″
Notes: Peak effort about 9a.m. 

Margaret Lake: 17 anglers with 71 fish kept, 4.18 kept per angler; 22 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 12″
Notes: Fun day! Weather was fine and folks were in good spirits.

Pine Lake: 32 anglers with 58 kept fish, 1.81 kept per angler; 17 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: slower than expected. Good weather. Happy anglers.

Walker Lake: 12 anglers with 19 fish kept, 1.58 kept per angler; 126 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 11.5″
Notes: Happy anglers, great weather, less pressure than usual

Wilderness Lake: 56 anglers with 173 fish kept, 3.09 kept per angler; 96 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 16.25″
Notes: Sunny with great and happy kids, most adults happy too; 24 fish released

SNOHOMISH COUNTY

Armstrong Lake: 20 anglers with 36 fish kept, 1.80 kept per angler; 24 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 20.3″
Notes: Lots happy people. Sunny

Echo Lake-Maltby: 11 anglers with 38 fish kept, 3.45 kept per angler; 58 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 16.5″
Notes: happy anglers

Howard Lake: 18 anglers with 61 fish kept, 3.39 kept per angler; 87 fish released
Largest:  Rainbow 17″; more than one this size caught
Notes: Lovely weather for Opening day at Howard.  

Ki Lake: 35 anglers with 68 kept fish, 1.94 kept per angler; 38 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 17.7″
Notes: It was nice weather. Most of the anglers were happy, particularly the boat anglers. Near the public access ramps  the shore anglers expressed they were not getting any bites compared to previous years. Apparently they are  usually closer to those landings. The boat anglers said that they were encountering fish further out and in the top west corner.  

Martha-Alderwood Manor: 21 anglers with 35 kept fish, 1.67 kept per angler; 43 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 17.5″
Notes: Lot’s happy anglers, nice trout, Seattle Times Reporter and photographer were present

Serene Lake: 18 anglers with 66 kept fish, 3.67 kept per angler; 15 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 19.5″
Notes: Good weather. Multiple fish exceeding 16″

Wagner Lake: 10 anglers with 42 kept fish, 4.20 kept per angler; 15 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: –

Bosworth Lake: 20 anglers with 61 kept fish, 3.05 kept per angler; 31 fish released
Largest: No jumbos, but many Rainbows in the 13-14″ range
Notes: Most were happy. Fewer than expected. Effort trended up throughout the day with the peak count was at end (11 a.m.) 

SKAGIT COUNTY

Lake McMurray: 41 anglers with 135 kept fish, 3.29 kept per angler; 69 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 18″
Notes: Beautiful day, lot of happy people, even with a crowded boat launch

Heart Lake: 47 anglers with 125 kept fish, 2.66 kept per angler; 43 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 21″
Notes: Lots happy people, great weather 

Erie Lake: 37 anglers with 131 kept fish, 3.54 kept per angler; 25 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 19″
Notes: Sunny. Relatively happy anglers. 

WHATCOM COUNTY

Cain Lake: 7 anglers with 28 kept fish, 4.00 kept per angler; 35 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 13″
Notes: Great weather, jumping fish. Lady fishing her 65th opening day. Most anglers arrived later in the morning.

Padden Lake: 17 anglers with 49 kept fish, 2.88 kept per angler; 13 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 11.5″
Notes: Beautiful weather, lots of family gatherings

Silver Lake: 104 anglers with 95 kept fish, 0.91 kept per angler; 97 fish released
Largest: Rainbow 26″
Notes: Many fish over 12″, great weather, staying out longer to enjoy conditions.

REGION 4 TOTALS: 570 anglers with 1,418 kept fish, 2.5 kept per angler; 1,001 fish released 

LEWIS COUNTY
Mineral Lake: 75 anglers with 220 fish kept, 2.9 kept per angler; 75 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: –

Carlisle Lake: 62 anglers with 69 fish kept, 1.1 kept per angler; 49 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: –

KLICKITAT COUNTY

Rowland Lake: 30 anglers with 82 fish kept, 2.7 kept per angler; 217 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: –

Horsethief Lake: 7 anglers with 3 fish kept, 0.4 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Spearfish Lake: 31 anglers with 76 fish kept, 2.5 kept per angler; 33 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

REGION 5 TOTALS: 205 anglers with 450 fish kept, 2.2 kept per angler; 374 fish released

GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY

Sylvia Lake: 45 anglers with 32 fish kept, 0.7 kept per angler; 40 fish released
Largest: RB 22″
Notes: Cool weather, slow bite 

Aberdeen Lake: 177 anglers with 289 fish kept, 1.6 kept per angler; 231 fish released
Largest: RB 23″
Notes: Good weather, lots of anglers.

Lake Inez: 30 anglers with 9 fish kept, 0.3 kept per angler; 12 fish released
Largest: RB 20.5″
Notes: Slow bite, chilly morning. 

Lake Bowers: 43 anglers with 68 fish kept, 1.6 kept per angler; 1 fish released
Largest: RB 21.5″
Notes: Slow fishing, but a few limits of big fish.

Failor Lake: 47 anglers with 145 fish kept, 3.1 kept per angler; 78 fish released
Largest: RB 22.5″
Notes: Good weather and happy anglers 

PACIFIC COUNTY

Black Lake: 41 anglers with 65 fish kept, 1.6 kept per angler; 23 fish released
Largest: RB 5.5 lbs.
Notes: Best weather in years, kids derby 

Western Lake: 19 anglers with 17 fish kept, 0.9 kept per angler; 19 fish released
Largest: RB 10″
Notes: Sunny morning. 

Snag Lake: 8 anglers with 6 fish kept, 0.8 kept per angler; 13 fish released
Largest: RB 10″
Notes: Sunny morning. 

Cases Pond: 9 anglers with 12 fish kept, 1.3 kept per angler; 10 fish released
Larges: RB 23″
Notes: Surplus hatchery steelhead still being caught.

PIERCE COUNTY

Ohop Lake: 28 anglers with 46 fish kept, 1.64 kept per angler; 2 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: –

Silver Lake: 53 anglers with 46 fish kept, 0.87 kept per angler; 27 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Carney Lake: 15 anglers with 28 fish kept, 1.87 kept per angler; 12 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Crescent Lake: 29 anglers with 58 fish kept, 2.00 kept per angler; 16 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Clear Lake: 60 anglers with 197 fish kept, 3.28 kept per angler; 82 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Tanwax Lake: 13 anglers with 18 fish kept, 1.38 kept per angler; 12 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Rapjohn Lake: 14 anglers with 18 fish kept, 1.29 kept per angler; 57 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Jackson Lake: 6 anglers with 2 fish kept, 0.33 kept per angler; 2 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

THURSTON COUNTY

Summit Lake: 48 anglers with 141 fish kept, 2.94 kept per angler; 60 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Pattison Lake: 15 anglers with 0 fish kept, 0.00000000000000000 kept per angler; 13 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Deep Lake: 36 anglers with 31 fish kept, 0.86 kept per angler; 13 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Clear Lake: 77 anglers with 298 fish kept, 3.87 kept per angler; 15 fish released
Largest: 19
Notes: Nice large trout 

Ward Lake: 16 anglers with 23 fish kept, 1.44 kept per angler; 43 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

Hicks Lake: 30 anglers with 36 fish kept, 1.20 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

McIntosh Lake: 8 anglers with 16 fish kept, 2.00 kept per angler; 27 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: – 

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Sandy Shore Lake: 13 anglers with 17 fish kept, 1.31 kept per angler; 36 fish released
Largest: 14in RB
Notes:  Nice weather, very happy anglers. Two anglers caught and released about 30 fish between them (did not retain any) using flies and lures. Said fish were very aggresisive 

Tarboo Lake: 30 anglers with 55 fish kept, 1.83 kept per angler; 20 fish released
Largest: 23in RB
Notes: Nice weather, lots of turnover with boats limiting and leaving, and new boaters arriving. Lots of small kids fishing with grandpa. Very happy anglers. Four additional carryovers in the 20-22 inch range.

Haven Lake: 6 anglers with 15 fish kept, 2.50 kept per angler; 15 fish released
Largest: 13 in RB
Notes: Good fishing across the lake. Anglers pleased with ease of catching fish. Bait and lures work well. Fishing steady  throughout the morning.  

Horseshoe Lake: 13 anglers with 10 fish kept, 0.77 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: 22in RB
Notes: Heavy fog in early morning, cleared later in the day. Nice weather by mid-morning. Mostly bass fishing, most  trout were released and not counted by anglers. Well known bass lake. 

Mission Lake: 18 anglers with 68 fish kept, 3.78 kept per angler; 33 fish released
Largest: 15.5 RB
Notes: –

Panther Lake: 15 anglers with 39 fish kept, 2.60 kept per angler; 20 fish released
Largest: 13in RB
Notes: Nice day, Very good fishing, with nice looking trout. Happy anglers

Wildcat Lake: 27 anglers with 66 fish kept, 2.44 kept per angler; 38 fish released
Largest: –
Notes: Nice day no wind, no rain. Everyone enjoyed their fishing. More than a dozen carry-overs . All fish, both catchables and carry-overs were ad clipped, no adipose fins observed.  

MASON COUNTY

Aldrich Lake: 9 anglers with 38 fish kept, 4.22 kept per angler; 1 fish released
Largest: 12in catchable
Notes: Great fishing weather 

Benson Lake: 22 anglers with 50 fish kept, 2.27 kept per angler; 11 fish released
Largest: 12.5
Notes: Kind of a slow start, but fishing picked up throughout the morning. Very happy anglers. Nice looking trout with nice fins and color.

Don (Clara) Lake: 15 anglers with 67 fish kept, 4.47 kept per angler; 0 fish released
Largest: 18 in carryover/
Notes: Parking lot full at 9am 

Howell Lake: 3 anglers with 14 fish kept, maths is hards; 0 fish released
Largest: 13in catchable
Notes: Very quiet since the boat launch was decommissioned 

Lake Limerick: 19 anglers with 19 fish kept, 1 kept per angler; 24 fish released
Largest: 22in RB
Notes: Very happy anglers. Very busy with local HOA derby anglers fishing for large Derby fish planted by Lake Limerick HOA. Low retention of caught “catchables”, fishing for derby fish. Comments about the catchablers they “were really nice looking fish, but we are fishing for the Derby”. Mostly lure anglers doing that. 

Robbins Lake: 9 anglers with 40 fish kept, 4.44 kept per angler; 1 fish released
Largest: 16in catchable
Notes: Several Kayakers fishing 

Tiger Lake: 25 anglers with 87 fish kept, 3.48 kept per angler; 14 fish released
Largest: 13in RB
Notes: Fast fishing, very nice rainbows with excellent fin condition and color. Intermittent heavy fog, but mostly low  overcast and filtered sun during the morning check. No carryovers or Derby fish checked. 

REGION 6 TOTALS: 1,091 anglers with 2,186 fish kept, 2.00 kept per angler; 1,021 fish released 

STATEWIDE TOTALS 2,432 anglers at 83 lakes with 5,165 fish kept, 2.12 kept per angler; 2,629 fish released