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Dec. 8, 2019

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Out and About: Record low water limits boat access on Lewis River Reservoirs

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Published: November 21, 2019, 6:00am

Low flows in the Lewis River continue to create headaches for local anglers, keeping lake levels well below normal, and making boat launches unusable at reservoirs along the river.

The ramp at Yale Park was expected to be unusable by Nov. 18. In addition, boat ramps at Saddle Dam Park, Cougar Park, and Beaver Bay on Yale Reservoir closed earlier this year.

Swift Forest Camp ramp is closed on Swift Reservoir, and Cresap ramp on Lake Merwin always closes on Sept. 30 for the season. Only the Speelyia ramp on Lake Merwin is open.

Rivers are low across Southwest Washington, a result of low snowpack and insufficient rains this spring. Autumn rains have also lagged, leaving all the reservoirs managed by PacifiCorp well below average.

Currently, rivers are flowing at only about one third of average for this time of year. The entire state of Washington has been declared to be in drought by the governor.

The reservoir levels are subject to fluctuations caused by high or low flows coming out of the rivers that feed them, but this year has been unusually dry.

In a news release, PacifiCorp stated that it recognizes the importance of recreation, and strives to balance recreation access with environmental requirements. November rains could improve the situation.

For more information, contact: Tom Gauntt, PacifiCorp, 503-813-7291.

Drano Lake reopens for fishing

An emergency rule has been issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to reopen Drano Lake to fishing as of Nov. 15. The rule returns Drano Lake to permanent rules.

The lake was closed by emergency rule in late September to increase the numbers of fall Chinook that were available for brood stock at the Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery. Broodstock collection at the hatchery is now on track to provide the necessary number of brood adults, so the closure is no longer needed.

Black Friday trout stockings announced

The WDFW will begin stocking lakes with trout next week ahead of the Black Friday trout fishing event. Included in the stockings will be thousands of large trout measuring 15 to 16 inches and weighing up to three pounds.

“This is a great chance to enjoy a fun day on the water with family and friends,” said Steve Caromile, WDFW inland fish program manager in a news release. “I can’t think of a better way to pre-celebrate the holidays.”

Local lakes scheduled to be stocked with fish before Black Friday, Nov. 29, include:

• Battle Ground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County

• Kress Lake in Cowlitz County

• Rowland Lake in Klickitat County

• North Elton Pond in Yakima County

Many eastside lakes were stocked heavily with fry plants in recent years and should provide good fishing on Black Friday. These include Hatch and Williams lakes in Stevens County; Fourth of July Lake in Lincoln and Adams counties; and Hog Canyon Lake in Spokane County.

“WDFW’s trout stocking and hatchery programs are active year-round,” added Caromile. “We provide the gift of spending time with friends and family on lakes around the state, at any time of the year.”

Anglers can get up-to-date stocking information on the WDFW weekly catchable trout stocking report. Anglers 15 years and older must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license.

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