April 17, 1997

Okanogan Prospects Excellent

Fenton Roskelley Correspondent

Numerous lakes in Okanogan County will yield five-fish limits of pan-sized trout for the season opener on April 26.

Among them are Alta, Big Twin, Blue (Sinlahekin Valley), Conconully lake and reservoir, Fish, Leader, Patterson, Pearrygin and Wannacutt.

Anglers who want to fish for big trout will try their luck at Chopaka, Ell and Sidley.

Chopaka, a fly fishing-only lake, long has been considered the top fly fishing lake in the state. Fly fishers from throughout the Northwest will camp at the lake in May and June to take advantage of the Callibaetis mayfly, damselfly and midge hatches.

Tiny Ell Lake, a selective fishery lake 16 miles southeast of Tonasket, has plenty of water this year. Fishing was excellent last year for big rainbows and probably will be just as good this year.

Biologists are warning anglers not to expect good fishing at Aeneas Lake this season. The popular fly fishing-only lake, full of sculpins, will be rehabilitated next fall.

Sidley Lake, near Molson, is full of 12- to 13-inch rainbows and some huge trout. Biologists expect excellent fishing this year. A new aerator has been installed, increasing survival rates during winter months.

Prospects for other waters: Palmer, excellent for smallmouth bass; Whitestone, good for largemouth bass, poor for crappies; Scooteney, good for perch and some walleyes; Evergreen Reservoir, fair to good for bass, bluegills and perch; Lake Chelan, good for kokanee and fair to good for chinook salmon and mackinaw trout. , DataTimes

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