Trout season opens strong at Swift Reservoir

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

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Anglers at Swift Reservoir were greeted with good weather and nice-size trout as fishing season began its seven-month run on Saturday.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sampled 25 anglers at Swift with 109 fish kept and 13 released, an average of 4.88 fish per angler. The daily bag limit is five fish.

The trout in the 4,500-acre reservoir on the upper North Fork of the Lewis River averaged 12 inches, with some limits containing several rainbows up to 13 1/2 inches.

The state only checked 11 landlocked coho. The small coho are part of an effort to reintroduce coho, spring chinook and winter steelhead to the watershed upstream of Swift Reservoir.

Swift's water level was at elevation 995 feet, five feet below full pool.

Four other lakes β€” Kidney in Skamania County and Rowland, Horsethief and Spearfish in Klickitat County β€” also opened on Saturday.

At Kidney Lake, near North Bonneville, 45 anglers were sampled with 141 trout kept and 15 released. The bite was best at daybreak.

The three Klickitat County lakes in the Columbia Gorge were plagued with strong winds after mid-morning.

At Rowland Lake, near Bingen, 51 anglers were checked with 162 fish kept and 225 released. Six large broodstock no longer needed for spawning at Goldendale Hatchery were caught, along with 43 of the large "triploid'' trout.

At Horsethief Lake inside Columbia Hills State Park, 51 anglers were checked with 115 fish kept and 19 released. At Spearfish Lake, near The Dalles Dam, the numbers were 35 anglers with 151 kept and 12 released. Three of the broodstock rainbow and 10 triploid rainbow were caught.