Almost 40,000 rainbow trout have been stocked in five waters in Skamania and Klickitat counties for Saturday’s opening of the general fishing in season.
Decades ago, Washington opened angling in most lakes and reservoirs statewide on the final weekend of April.
But incrementally, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has shifted most waters to a year-round season with trout stocked periodically.
Opening Saturday in Skamania County will be Kidney Lake near North Bonneville and Swift power canal. Swift Reservoir no longer opens until the first Saturday in June as part of the reintroduction of spring chinook, winter steelhead and coho into the upper watershed of the North Fork of the Lewis River.
Opening Saturday in Klickitat County will be Rowland, Spearfish and Horsthief lakes.
According to John Weinheimer, district fish biologist in Carson, the Swift power canal has been stocked with 3,500 catchable-size rainbow trout.
Kidney Lake got 53 big brood stock trout during the winter, plus 5,600 catchables and 224 “triploid” rainbows more recently.
Triploids are large rainbows averaging about 1.5 pounds.
Rowland Lake, along state Highway 14 east of Bingen, has been planted with 12,000 catchable rainbow plus 928 triploids and 204 large brood stock.
Rowland is split by Highway 14 and only the north side is stocked. The north side also has a boat ramp.
Spearfish Lake is just north of The Dalles Dam. It has received 6,100 catchable rainbows, 256 triploid rainbow and 104 of the large brood stock trout.
Spearfish has a boat ramp, but gas motors are not allowed
Horsethief Lake, inside Columbia Hills State Park, is being planted with 11,000 catchable rainbows and got 84 brood stock this winter. Horsethief has a boat ramp.
The lake also contains smallmouth bass, yellow perch, walleye and a variety of panfish.