Outdoors

Surveys find healthy trout crop at West Medical, Fishtrap lakes

Chris Donley, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist, pulls in a gillnet during a survey of the stocked trout population at West Medical Lake on April 5, 2011. (Rich Landers)
Chris Donley, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist, pulls in a gillnet during a survey of the stocked trout population at West Medical Lake on April 5, 2011. (Rich Landers)

FISHING — The season isn't open yet, but the fishing has been good this week for Chris Donley, Washington Fish and Wildlfie Department Spokane district fisheries biologist.

On Tuesday he pulled survey gillnets that had been soaking overnight in West Medical and Fishtrap Lakes and found an exceptionally healthy crop of fat, rainbow trout.

“The fry plants from last year are enormous,” he said, pointing a cold,wet finger on a blustery day to one of the specimens coming into the boat at West Medical. “They're almost too big. Makes me wonder if cormorants or something thinned out the fry plant. I can't say for sure.

“But one thing I CAN say is that anglers are going to be very happy on opening day.”

Although many of the mixed species lakes and selective fishery waters already are open, Fishtrap, West Medical, Williams, Badger and other lowland trout fisheries won't open until April 30 — the latest possible opening date under the “last Saturday in April” rule.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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