Outdoors blog

Big is the word for Saturday’s Sprague Lake Trout Derby

Tom Shellenberger, Mike Barnett and Mike Shellenberger display their catch of nice rainbow trout caught trolling plugs on Sunday, April 22, at Sprague Lake.  (Scott Haugen / Four Seasons Campground)
Tom Shellenberger, Mike Barnett and Mike Shellenberger display their catch of nice rainbow trout caught trolling plugs on Sunday, April 22, at Sprague Lake. (Scott Haugen / Four Seasons Campground)

FISHING -- A prize totaling $500 awaits the angler who catches the biggest trout Saturday (June 9) during the first Sprague Lake Trout Derby.

Fishermen have boated some huge rainbows out of the 1,840-acre lake since it was rehabilitated in 2007. The derby gives them a chance to cash in on their luck.

It's scheduled for Washington's Free Fishing Weekend, so NO FISHING LICENSE IS REQUIRED.

And don't forget to fuel up at the Fishermen's Breakfast by the Sprague Volunteer Fire Department (details below).

Bonus:  Nine rainbows were tagged and released in Sprague Lake in March as part of Cabela's "Wanna Catch a Million" fishing contest. Most of the bass state biologists caught while electroshocking to caputre the fish for tagging were in the no-kill slot size.  So they chose to put all the tags allotted for Sprague Lake into rainbows.

All Sprague Lake Trout Derby participants will be eligible for prize drawings, and kids especially will have a chance to win fishing rods, said Dave Broxson, co-organizer.

The angler weighing in the second largest fish caught between 6 a.m. and the 6 p.m. weigh-in will win $100 in gift cards and merchandise provided by Cabela’s and Wholesale Sports.

Third place gets goodies totaling $50.

Tickets will be available the day of the derby at the two resorts on the lake:

The Main Derby Station and weigh-in site will be situated just outside Sprague Lake Resort.

Both resorts offer camping, boat rentals, boat launching, docks and tackle.

To participate, anglers must purchase a derby ticket, $7 for adults, $5 for youths 16 and under.

Read on for more details about the derby and the Fishermen's Breakfast.

Fish and Wildlife police and county sheriff marine patrols plan to patrol the lake, said Broxson, a member of the Sprague Lake User Group that’s organizing the event.

“People want to make sure they have their boats up to code and their life jackets,” he said. “But they won’t need to buy a fishing license – we scheduled the derby for Washington’s free-fishing weekend.”

The SLUG, as the group likes to call itself, also hopes anglers make sure their boats are clean of possible invasive species before launching.

Anglers will have to play by the rules. The limit at Sprague Lake is 5 fish, only two can be longer than 20 inches.

“The fishing conditions should be good for the derby, before the weeds grow up and any algae blooms come on,” Broxson said.

Fisherman’s Breakfast set for Sprague derby

 Local residents will be putting on a breakfast on June 9, the day of the Sprague Lake Trout Derby, as a fundraiser for the Sprague Volunteer Fire Fighters.

Breakfast will be served 5 a.m.-noon at the Sprague Community Center, Third and C Street, next the fire station. Cost: $5




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Rich Landers
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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