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News / Sports / Outdoors

Fishing report: Hundreds of lowland lakes open for trout on Saturday

By Columbian news services
Published: April 26, 2024, 2:42pm

Anglers can look forward to trout fishing in hundreds of lowland lakes throughout the state beginning Saturday, April 27 and perhaps winning one of more than 800 trout derby prizes along with their catch.

The annual trout derby kick-off coincides with the lowland lakes season opener. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) stocks millions of trout in lakes throughout the year. Opening day marks the first time people can fish many of those lakes for the catchable trout planted every winter and spring.

Opening-day lakes are often stocked shortly before the start of their six-month season. Anglers can visit WDFW’s website to see which lakes have been stocked in recent weeks and can sort by county or waterbody to find a nearby stocked lake.

WDFW planted over 14.5 million trout and kokanee across Washington in the past year. The catchable-size trout averages 2.5 fish per pound, or 12 to 14 inches. There are also nearly 143,000 jumbo trout that measure more than 14 inches, averaging one to 1.5 pounds. Most jumbo trout are planted in March and April, with others saved for fall planting.

Depending on the lake, people may encounter rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, and other fish species.

This year, the annual statewide trout derby boasts more than 800 donated prizes worth over $42,000 in total, which anglers can claim by catching tagged trout in lakes across Washington.

More than 100 lakes will feature prize fish. In Clark County, that includes Battle Ground Lake, Lacamas Lake and Klineline Pond.

In Cowlitz County, prize fish can be found at Horseshow Lake, Kress Lake and Lake Sacajawea.

“The trout derby is a very popular activity for Washington anglers of all ages and backgrounds,” said Steve Caromile, inland fish program manager with WDFW. “The hard work of fish and hatchery staff along with the generosity of our vendors has made the trout derby something anglers look forward to each year.”

To participate in the opener and the derby, Washington anglers must have a valid resident or non-resident 2024 Get Outdoors package, annual freshwater, annual Fish WA, annual combination, or temporary combination license.

Fishing report

The latest Columbia River tributary fishery reports. This sample was taken during the April 22 flight count.

Columbia River tributaries


Cowlitz River I-5 Bridge downstream — 25 bank rods had no catch.

Cowlitz River above I-5 Bridge — Two bank rods had no catch.

Kalama River — 20 bank rods kept one steelhead and released one steelhead. 18boats/43 rods kept nine Chinook, three steelhead and released one steelhead.

Lewis River — 43 bank rods released one Chinook. 38 boats/80 rods kept 10 Chinook, two jacks and released 23 steelhead.

Wind River — Two bank rods had no catch. 13 boats/31 rods kept one Chinook.

Drano Lake — 10 bank rods had no catch. 100 boats/255 rods kept 50 Chinook.

Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge — One bank rod had no catch.


Bonneville pool — 13 Oregon bank rods with no spring chinook.

The Dalles pool — 12 Oregon bank rod with one spring chinook kept. One boat/two anglers with no sturgeon, two Oregon bank rods with no sturgeon. Fourteen boats/32 anglers with 36 walleye kept and 10 released.

Lower Willamette (downstream of St. John Bridge plus Multnomah Channel) — 1,565 boats/3,621 anglers with 402 spring chinook kept and 79 released.