craig.hill@thenewstribune.comApril 23, 2014 


Lowland lakes: Hundreds of lowland lakes stocked with millions of trout and kokanee open Saturday for their sixth-month season.

Among early-season hot spots in the region are Black, McIntosh, Mineral, Silver, Steel and Wooten.

“The lowland lakes season opener is the biggest fishing day of the year,” Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said in a statement. “Lakes in every county are well-stocked, so there should be good fishing opportunities close to home.”

Anglers need a current freshwater fishing license to participate. These permits are $29.50 for adults, $8.05 for 15-year-olds, and $7.50 for seniors 70 and older. Children 14 and younger do not need a license.

WDFW officials said it is stocking nearly 16.5 million trout and kokanee in lakes around the state. Anglers can view the WDFW stocking plan at

Spanaway: Bud Herlitzka of the Spanaway Park Boat House said there have been lots of limits recently thanks to a recent plant. A catch-and-release fly-fisherman caught 20 fish on a recent trip. Triploids are biting on the southwest side of the lake. Herlitzka recommends still-fishing for the best results. Try slow trolling with worm and Wedding Ring in front of the boathouse. “But when they’re on the bite, almost anything will work,” Herlitzka said.

American: Kokanee are still biting.

Drano: Boat anglers are catching some spring chinook, according to the WDFW.

Offut: Recent reports indicate that fishing has picked up along with the temperatures.

Chelan: Anton Jones of Darrell & Dad’s Guide Service said the best option is to troll above the yacht club and the face of Manson Bay early in the morning. Fishing for rainbows has been quite good.

Roses: Jones recommends fishing from the banks and the docks with slip-sinker rigs. “Fish Pautzke’s Fire Bait in American Wildfire on a 30-inch leader to get these mostly 11- to 14-inch fish,” Jones said via email.


South Sound: The staff at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina reports fishing in the area is picking up. They recommend jigging on the tide changes near Point Evans and trolling near the clay banks. Fish are also biting out front of the boathouse.

Washington Coast: Westport Charterboat Association reported Saturday: “There was one charter boat out today, and the skipper said he wishes he hadn’t gone.” Weather hasn’t been cooperative. However, when the weather is nice, so is fishing for rockfish and ling cod.


Columbia: Sturgeon fishing below the Bonneville Dam has seen light effort during this catch-and-release fishery, according to WDFW reports. Some legal sturgeon, walleye and bass have been caught in The Dalles and John Day pools.

Cowlitz: Anglers are catching a mix of spring chinook and winter-run steelhead between the hatcheries. Tacoma Power Utilities reports that last week it recovered 836 winter-run steelhead, 80 spring-chinook adults, eight jacks and one cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Kalama: Anglers are catching spring chinook (which are required to be released) and steelhead according to the WDFW.

Lewis: Closed for spring chinook, and the North fork from Johnson Creek to Merwin Dam is closed to all fishing.

Olympic coast: Mixed results here, although many anglers are trying their luck because of closures on other rivers. The Hoh, Queets and Quinault rivers are closed.

Craig Hill: 253-597-8497 @AdventureGuys

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