By Mark Yuasa
This is an exciting time for anglers as fishing holes are less crowded and water temperatures begin to cool-off creating an autumn trout fishing bonanza in some lakes.
Many in the greater Seattle region set their sights on a particular east side lake that will see some modifications extending the chances to catch fish into early winter.
“We’re changing how we stock Beaver Lake (located in Issaquah), and will spread the fish out more, moving away from the one-time stocking event that has occurred in past years,” said Justin Spinelli, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Mill Creek. “It is a much better stocking plan since we’ll be enhancing fishing opportunities through the holiday periods.”
The total plant for Beaver – a 60.3-acre lake – like in past years is 2,400 jumbo-sized rainbow trout that are currently being housed at the Issaquah Hatchery. In fact, until they’re planted you can see them milling at the hatchery pond, and pick out the ones you hope to catch in the near future.
There will be three allotted plants of 800 trout during each time period in October, November and December.
“The plants will happen around the third week of each month,” Spinelli said. “The plan for holiday period is to get them planted the Monday before Thanksgiving and just prior to Christmas.”
The daily catch limit at Beaver will be five trout, and only two fish may be longer than 15 inches. Fishing is open year-round. Internal combustion boat engines are prohibited.
Elsewhere in Puget Sound region, the Marblemount Hatchery is holding onto 300 trout averaging 1 ½ pounds that will be planted soon into Clear Lake in Skagit County.
“We wanted to plant them earlier, but had some warm water issues (due to hot weather in late summer),’ Spinelli said. “The water is now cooling down so we plan to do it soon.”
The 220-acre lake located three miles south of Sedro-Woolley is open year-round, and also has largemouth bass, yellow perch and bullhead catfish present.
Spinelli indicated he is also continuing to work with state fisheries staff to develop a more consistent fall stocking plant for catchable-sized trout.
“We’re hoping to see some of that change in the near future,” Spinelli said. “It is a priority for us, and anglers want the fall stocking, which is similar to what they see down in southwestern region (Regions 5 and 6). Their infrastructure is different in that they have the ability to grow fish year-round. That is something right now that we don’t have so it is a challenge.”
Elsewhere Bradley Lake – a small 9-acre waterway – in Pierce County received a plant of 700 trout on Sept. 25, and another 2,100 trout went in between Sept. 5 and Sept. 18. The lake is open year-round to fishing.
Goose Lake in Skamania County was planted with 530 cutthroat trout on Sept. 26, plus it got 2,096 on Aug. 30. This lake measures 73.6 acres, and is best fished from a small boat (electric motors only), float tube or raft. It is open year-round, but snow often arrives by mid-November making access limited or closed in winter.
Council Lake and Takhlakh Lake in Skamania County each got a plant of 1,000 trout on Sept. 18 and Sept. 15 respectively.
Council covers 43 acres, and is a drive-up mountain lake on the northwest flank of Mount Adams. Takhlakh is 32 acres, and is also a beautiful mountain lake with a spectacular view of Mount Adams. Both are open year-round, but access is usually blocked by snow from around mid-November until late spring and/or early summer.
Lake Aberdeen in Grays Harbor County open through Oct. 31 was planted with 70 adult-
summer steelhead on Sept. 11 and Sept. 20
The fishing on the 52-acre lake should also be decent for 10- to 11- inch rainbow trout peppered with some larger-sized fish and triploids running 1.5 to 2 pounds apiece and a few even bigger ones averaging 4 to 6 pounds apiece.
Sylvia Lake in Grays Harbor was planted with 500 rainbow trout on Sept. 26. It is a small lake covering 28.4 acres, and also has some bigger 4 to 6 pound trout.