Many families have made traditions of venturing to Spokane region lakes that open to fishing on the last Saturday of April.
About 20 lakes in Spokane County are stocked with trout, plus about 65 in Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.
These trout-managed lakes always have something to offer, although the fisheries can change from year to year. Fish managers try to improve the fishing success by adding 1.5-pound sterile triploid rainbows just before the season to the most popular lakes.
Williams Lake should once again be one of the top trout lakes in Eastern Washington, with rainbow and cutthroat trout stocked by the state and sweetened with releases by Klink’s Resort.
Badger Lake may not be up to its usual tops-in-the-state form this year owing to an infiltration of smallmouth bass that’s curbing trout growth.
Fishtrap and West Medical lakes were treated with rotenone last fall and the trout populations are being restarted with fry that haven’t yet matured. Thousands of catchable-size trout also will be planted, but they won’t be as big on opening day as anglers have been used to when they visit lakes that are usually among the best in the state.
But 2,500 of the bigger triploids will make a lot of anglers happy at Fishtrap in the early season, as well as the 1,500 headed for West Medical.
These fisheries will beef up to their prime in the next two years.
Liberty Lake, a March 1 opener, shines as a trout lake at ice out when browns are aggressive in shallow water. By late spring and summer bass become the most apparent fishery. Smallmouths 2-3 pounds have increased in numbers in recent years, fish researchers say.
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