WINTER FISHING -- Hog Canyon had an average turnout, but the pressure was down somewhat at Fourth of July lake when the fisheries opened for their winter trout season on Saturday.
Fishing was good, but anglers had trouble getting their limits after catching two fast fish over 14 inches.
Problem: Most of the fish are large and you can keep only two fish longer than 14.
Click here for the opening weekend report from Hatch and Williams lakes near Colville.
Following is the Hog Canyon/Fourth of July lakes report from Randall Osborne, Washington Department of Fish Wildlife area fisheries biologist:
Both lakes were ice free for the opener and with the forcast, should stay that way for a while anyway. Both lakes fished relatively well and should be good for quite a while through the season.
Hog Canyon Lake - this lake had a pretty good turnout for the opener. Rainbows averaged 16 inches and ranged from 9 to 20 inches. Average number of fish harvested by anglers that were creeled was 1.9 fish/angler.
Fourth of July Lake - Not the most people I have seen here in past openers, but still a pretty good turnout. Rainbows averaged 17.5 inches and ranged from 15.5 to 21.5 inches. Average number of fish harvested by anglers that were creeled was also 1.9 fish/angler.
When these two lakes are in form, like they are now, they tend to grow trout really, really well. This is the reason for the relatively low harvest rates. Most people harvested their two fish over 14 inches pretty quickly, but struggled a bit finding fish under 14 inches to fill in their limits.