Lots of early autumn trout fishing options happening statewide, plus catch a tagged trout and win a prize! Leave a reply
By Mark Yuasa
It’s really starting to feel like autumn outside as the leaves are turning colors, temperatures are cooling down, and trout are starting to become more active in statewide lakes.
“We’ve still got a lot of fish swimming around in lakes that we planted on opening day (in late April), and there’s a decent shot to catch them especially some of the nice holdover-size trout,” said Justin Spinelli, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Region 4 trout biologist.
“These seasonal lakes remain open for trout fishing through Oct. 31, and autumn is a nice time to try your luck,” Spinelli said. “We’re finally seeing temperatures cool down into a fall weather pattern and that should have the trout more active and feeding.”
Spinelli says fair to good seasonal lakes that should be coming back to life for trout chasers are Langlois, Margaret, Pine, Steel, Bosworth, Ki, Storm, McMurray, Sixteen, Erie, Whatcom, Silver, Padden and Toad.
There are many other lakes that were also just planted including Goose in Skamania County received 731 cutthroat trout on Sept. 21; Lost in Mason County got 1,000 rainbows on Sept. 13; and Spencer in Mason County got 500 rainbows on Sept. 13. Late last month, Mineral in Lewis County got a whopping 5,713 rainbows; Mayfield Reservoir in Lewis County received 2,400;
The further sweeten the fishing pot, WDFW’s statewide “Trout Fishing Derby” continues through Oct. 31 and offers an angler a chance to not only get out and catch fish, but also win some cool prizes.
The derby – which began in late-spring – features more than 100 lakes planted with more than 1,000 tagged trout and each fish provides a prize donated from more than 70 participating businesses totaling about $38,000.
“We put a lot of tags in Puget Sound region lakes, and there’s still a good amount of them around to catch,” Spinelli said.
All the trout in the derby have an orange tag attached to their fin. If you catch one be sure to keep the tag to claim your prize.
The derby – held for the past seven years – has worked out very well with about 45 to 50 percent of the tags turned in for prizes. To help boost chances of catching a tagged trout, WDFW has a list of all the lakes that have prizes still left in them and the total numbers of prizes and how many have already been given away. For details, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/locations/lowland-lakes/cottage-lake.
In King County, Cottage still has three prizes waiting to be claimed as of Sept. 23; Echo has 10; Green has seven; Margaret has six; Langlois has four; North has three; Pine has four; Steel has 11; and Wilderness has six. In Island County, Deer has 11. In Pacific County, Black has six; Cases has five; Snag has one; and Western has three. In Skagit County, Erie has eight; McMurray has six; and Sixteen has seven. In Snohomish County, Ballinger has seven; Bosworth has nine; Ki has seven; Martha AM has three; Riley has two; Silver has seven; and Storm has 11. In Thurston County, Clear has three; Deep has one; Offutt has four; Pattison has six; Summit has two; and Ward has two. In Whatcom County, Padden has nine; and Silver has 11.
In Asotin County, Golf Course Pond has five. In Chelan County, Beehive has two; and Wapato has eight. In Clark County, Battle Ground Lake has three; Klineline has three; and Lacamas has one. In Columbia County, Blue has one; and Rainbow has one. In Cowlitz County, Horseshoe has two; Kress has four; Sacajawea has eight; and Silver has five. In Douglas County, Jameson has 11. In Ferry County, Curlew has four. In Franklin County, Dalton has eight. In Grant County, Corral has 22; Deep has 21; and Rainbow/Vic Meyers has seven. In Grays Harbor County, Duck has two; Failor has none; Aberdeen has three; Sylvia has six; Vance Creek 1 has five; and Vance Creek 2 has six. In Jefferson County, Leland has two; Silent has one; and Tarboo has none. In Kittitas County, Easton has none; and Fiorito North has two; and Mattoon had three. In Kitsap County, Horseshoe has none; Island has none; Kitsap has one; Mission has two; Panther has none; Tiger has one; and Wildcat has two. In Klickitat County, Horsethief has five; Maryhill has two; Rowland has seven; and Spearfish has three. In Lewis County, Carlisle has two; Fort Borst has one; Mineral has three; and South Lewis County Park Pond has none. In Lincoln County, Fishtrap has one. In Mason County, Benson has one; Clara/Don has none; Haven has one; Island has nine; Lost has four; Nahwatzel has eight; Panther has none; Spencer has nine; Tiger has one; Trails End has one; and Wooten has none. In Okanogan County, Alta has nine; Conconully Lake has seven; Conconully Reservoir has seven; Pearrygin has six; Spectacle has nine; and Wannacut has 10.
In Pierce County, American has three; Bradley has four; Silver has four; and Tanwax has three. In Pend Oreille County, Diamond has seven. In Skamania County, Ice House has three; and Swift Power Canal has two. In Spokane County, Badger has one; Bear has four; Clear has none; Fish has two; Liberty has six; and Williams has two. In Stevens County, Cedar has two; Loon has four; Starvation has one; and Waitts has one. In Walla Walla County, Bennington has seven; Hood Park has four; and Quarry has five. In Whitman County, Garfield has one. In Yakima County, I-82 Pond 4 has five; I-82 Pond 6 has one; Myron has one; Rotary has one; and Tim’s Pond has one.
WDFW has an online system for anglers who catch tagged trout to report them at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby#sponsors. Depending on the prize they will either be mailed or picked up at WDFW regional offices by the recipient.
Anglers will also be able to share their derby success on social media with the hash tag of #watroutderby. For derby details, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby.
Before heading out the door be sure to check for lakes open/closed, regulations and trout plants