Weather Boosts Spirits at Lowland Lake Fishing Opener

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Slightly lower than usual catch rates during Washington’s lowland lake fishing season opener Saturday didn’t bother most anglers, who were happy to enjoy long-awaited warm weather.

“We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather for lowland lake opener,“ said Jon Anderson, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fish biologist, who compiled results from creel checks across the state.

“Anglers of all ages caught lots of nice trout, including several real lunkers,” Anderson said, “but because waters remained cool so long into spring, catch rates tended to be lower in many lakes. However, the fish will still be there later in this five-to six-month season.”

Some lakes in eastern Washington remained ice covered or inaccessible due to lingering snow. Fish size was noticeably smaller than normal at lakes where cold water and ice cover delayed foraging.

WDFW staff and volunteers checked more than 3,500 anglers with about 6,000 trout from 100 lakes across Washington. The statewide average catch rate was 1.7 trout per angler. The top 10 lakes for angler success were: Skagit County’s McMurray, Heart and Sixteen lakes; Stevens County’s Deep and Rocky lakes; Spokane County’s Williams Lake; Grant County’s Blue and Warden lakes; San Juan County’s Cascade Lake; and Snohomish County’s Howard Lake.

The following specific creel checks were reported: