Freshly planted trout to keep anglers busy all winter
Thousands of trout planted in Western Washington lakes
Seattle Times staff reporter
Ski & Snowboard Show in Seattle
The first signs of snow arrived on the Cascade hillsides this past week, and many skiers and riders are gearing up for winter fun by heading to “Ski Dazzle,” the Seattle Ski & Snowboard Show, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at CenturyLink Field and Events Center. Take a free lesson on the 60-foot ski ramp or learn how to climb on the two-story rock climbing wall.
Admission: $15; $5 for kids ages 6-12; children under age 6 free. A paid admission also earns visitors a free lift ticket offer.
While many are getting into the holiday spirit, others will be joyously casting a line with the hopes of catching some of the thousands of freshly planted trout.
State Fish and Wildlife already has planted 25 westside lakes with about 60,000 trout, and another 15,000 will be stocked in Mason and Jefferson counties and Southwest Washington lakes by the day after Thanksgiving.
“This is a great late-season fishery people should be taking advantage of, and fishing has been pretty good in most of the lakes we’ve already planted,” said Chris Donley, a state Fish and Wildlife program manager.
In fact, some lakes were planted this past week with trout averaging 12 to 17 inches, including some pushing the scales up to 5 and 6 pounds.
In Pierce County, American Lake got 1,650 trout on Oct. 30; Bonney, 332 on Oct. 29; Kapowsin, 2,800 on Oct. 28; Bradley, 750 on Nov. 5; and Ohop, 1,750 on Nov. 4.
In Thurston County, Black received 1,000 on Nov. 5, 1,550 on Oct. 28 and 1,440 on Oct. 25; Lawrence, 2,512 on Oct. 31; St. Clair, 1,040 on Nov. 4 and 708 on Oct. 25; Long, 1,185 on Nov. 1 and 1,315 on Oct. 31; Long’s Pond, 200 on Oct. 29; and Offutt, 1,050 on Nov. 4.
Other planted late last month include Gibbs in Thurston County with 191; Lost in Mason County, 2,430, and Nahwatzel, 1,205; Beaver in Sammamish, 1,106; Morton near Covington, 1,000; Spencer near Shelton, 4,400; Island near Shelton, 2,180; Meridian east of Kent, 3,132; and Silver off the Everett-Bothell Highway, 2,215.
State Fish and Wildlife purchased the fish from Trout Lodge (a global supplier of quality rainbow trout), and also devised a way to raise and grow larger trout in hatchery facilities to be released in the fall.
“Last year we heard from a lot of people commenting that they wanted lakes closer to (the Puget Sound region) planted with trout,” Donley said. “Those lakes have been, and should offer some good fishing well into winter.”
Places like Green Lake in North Seattle received a whopping plant of 5,088 trout on Oct. 2, and has produced fairly decent catches along this 255-acre lake.
“I’m amazed at how many people fish places like Green Lake, and most other (state fishery departments) would kill to have an urban fishery like that,” he said. “We put a lot of fish in there, and it’s one of those places where you can have a chance to catch a fish 12 months out of the year.”
Donley says the program will continue with a minimum of 55,000 trout planted annually, and the hopes of eventually growing it to 200,000.