Trout fishing has reopened across the state of Washington, and the fishing has been red hot.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, (WDFW), had closed all fishing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the state continued to stock trout into local lowland lakes.
The lakes have been stocked heavily now for weeks, and have seen no fishing pressure during that time.
The result? Lakes that are chock full of trout that are biting with abandon. A limit of trout may never have been so easy to come by.
“It’s just so good fishing right now,” said Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW Inland Fishes program. “We are seeing tons of success and lots of limits.”
Kelsey expects the fishing to remain excellent until hot summer weather slows the bite. She said anglers will be able to find success in just about any local trout lake.
“It’s just going to be a matter of moving to find the fish,” she said.
Cody Clark of Bob’s Sporting Goods in Longview has been hearing reports of excellent trout fishing, and has sampled a bit of the fishing as well.
“Kress Lake has been very popular,” said Clark. “I talked to three men that went to Kress to try to fish for bass, but they could not get through all the trout to get to the bass.”
“It sounds like at Kress you are doing something wrong if you can’t catch a limit in a short amount of time,” he added.
Kress was stocked with 2,512 rainbow trout at 2.4 fish per pound on May 6. It was also stocked with 50 big rainbow trout at two to three pounds each on that same date.
Clark has also heard excellent reports from Sacajawea Lake in Longview recently, with one fisherman telling him that he had caught two really big brood rainbow trout, and a ton of smaller ones in one outing.
Sacajawea was planted with 2,400 rainbows at 2.4 fish per pound on May 3. The lake was also planted on April 29 with 25 rainbows at 0.15 per pound, or about 8 to 10 pounds each, and another 175 rainbows at 0.4 per pound, or about two to three pounds apiece.
The reports were so good that Clark took his family to Sacajawea Lake on a recent evening. He said that if you had the right bait the action was non-stop.
“We took the kids to one of the docks, and the trout were hitting the bait before the egg sinker hit the bottom,” he said. “The kids had a ball doing that. Usually we had one to two rods going off at a time.”
“It was fun to watch,” he said.
The trout were keyed in on red Power Garlic Eggs by Berkley. Other baits? Not so much. Clark reported anglers fishing with worms or spinners were not getting the fish, and the trout were not interested in baits fished below a bobber.
Sacajawea is a good lake to hit during the current pandemic, because the lake offers so many places to fish that anglers can spread out very easily. That makes it easy to practicing social distancing.
Other local lakes are doing well, too.
Battle Ground Lake
The Battle Ground State Park is now open for day use, and bank fishing is allowed. However, the boat dock and launch are currently closed for renovations. Those facilities should reopen after June 30.
The lake was stocked with 5,000 rainbow trout at 1.0 fish per pound on May 4.
The lake was stocked with 5,100 rainbows at 2.1 per pound on April 29. It was also stocked with 3,866 cutthroat trout at 2.4 per pound on April 27.
However, the lake only offers a short expanse of shoreline access. If it gets crowded it may be difficult to keep your distance from other anglers.
This small lake at the Washington end of the Bridge of the Gods in the Columbia River Gorge is very popular with bank anglers and fishers with small craft. It was stocked with 2,000 rainbows at 2.6 per pound on April 28.
Located on the eastern edge of Vancouver, this lake was stocked with 3,000 rainbows at 1.8 per pound on April 28.
The lake in Woodland was stocked with 3,000 rainbows at 2.5 per pound on April 28.
The state is reminding anglers that because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic it is necessary to maintain social distancing. If anglers do not follow the guidelines the state may have to close fishing again.
For more information: Call the WDFW Region 5 headquarters at (360) 696-6211, or call Bob’s Sporting Goods in Longview at (360) 425-3870.
Information about fishing closures and openings can be found at the WDFW Covid-19 web page at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates