by Dallas Cross
Issaquah Press, May 27, 2009
Eastside, lowland lakes trout season opened on the last weekend in
April and because of cool weather has seen fewer fishermen than in past
years. This is good news because the lakes have been well stocked and
with continuing plants should offer excellent fishing.
Consequently, Rattlesnake, Pine and Beaver Lakes have had lower than
usual fishing pressure. Those who did fish them had good success which
should continue into the summer. Large triploid rainbow trout are still
there to be caught. The limit is five trout and all caught with bait
must be kept.
Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington are still good bets to catch trout
if you have access to a boat. Be certain to release all kokanee
unharmed as they are protected. kokanee look like trout but can be
identified as having a greenish, blue to silver back with faint
speckling, and silvery sides with no distinct spots.
During a recent fish tagging exercise in Lake Sammamish several
cutthroat were caught with minnow-imitating lures trolled slowly from
15 to 25 feet deep. With the lake waters warming up bass fishing will
improve and casting to shore structures such as docks is a good way to
get their attention to your bait or lures.
The fishing for most Washington rivers and streams season opens on the
first Saturday of June, a change from previous years when it was the
first day in June. The late, June opening of the general fishing season
is to take pressure off of spawning trout and to give young salt water
fish a hook-free run to the ocean.
Nearby rivers that offer fishing opportunities on the first Saturday of
June are: The Cedar River for steelhead from its mouth to Cedar
Falls and for trout that must be released. Also the Snoqualmie river
opens for steelhead and trout 14" and over with a limit of 2
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been changing its
emphasis on providing fishing opportunities away from streams and
rivers to lakes stocked from hatcheries. More and more rivers and
streams are being managed to produce wild trout, coastal and westslope
cutthroat trout, salmon and steelhead, and are not being stocked with
The WDFW is using the theme of wild fish conservation and restoration
to justify budget-driven cutbacks in state wide fish hatchery
operations. This position was strongly opposed at a public hearing in
Issaquah when the WDFW proposed to curtail operations at the nearby
Tokul Creek Hatchery and make the Snoqualmie River a wild fish
sanctuary. Questions still unanswered are whether the "wild
stock" of trout and steelhead are indeed native, whether the remnant
fish can still reproduce sufficiently to restock the river systems, and
more importantly, whether the loss of recreational fishing is justified.
If an adult wants to give a young person a quality fishing opportunity,
Issaquah Creek, May Creek and Coal Creek are open June 6 to fishing for
persons under the age of 15. Of course an adult can supervise but
may not hold the fishing pole. There are cutthroat trout in these
creeks awaiting worms, power bait and salmon eggs attached by line to
fishing poles in young hands.