Lakes across Eastern Washington open


April 11, 2024

OLYMPIA – More than two dozen Eastern Washington lakes open March 1 for trout fishing, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fishery managers announced today.

"Early spring is a great time to get out fishing at some of our east side lakes," said Steve Caromile, WDFW statewide inland fish program manager. "It has been a warmer than normal winter and looks like we may have an early spring. The March 1 opener is a great chance to get out of the house with friends and family and spend some time fishing."

Depending upon the severity of late winter weather, some lakes east of the Cascade Crest may still be iced over although warmer weather conditions should provide some trout fishing opportunities. Ice conditions aren't monitored by WDFW so before heading out the door it's wise to stay off the ice if you don't know it is safe.

Lakes offering bank fishing only off the Tucannon River in Columbia County are Rainbow, Deer, and Watson. Spring and Blue lakes are open year-round and will be stocked this spring.

Pampa Pond in Whitman County opens March 1 for rainbow trout fishing. Fish Hook Pond in Walla Walla County is open year-round. Both are open for bank fishing only and the ponds warm early providing early spring opportunities.

Within the Quincy Lakes Unit of the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area there are many walk-in lakes including Dusty, Cliff, Crystal, and Cup. These lakes can provide not only good fishing for trout in the 12- to 14-inch range with some up to 20 inches, but also solitude.

The greater Spokane region has several March 1 openers including Liberty, Amber, Downs, and Medical lakes. Coffeepot Lake in Lincoln County also opens March 1 with selective gear rules in effect. In the northeastern section of Washington, Deer Lake in Stevens County opens on March 1. A relatively warm winter should have some parts of the lake ice free.

Trout fishing information can be found on the WDFW's website. Before heading out, check WDFW's fishing regulations.

webpage for permanent regulations and emergency rules webpage for rule updates affecting fisheries. Weekly trout reports can be found on the WDFW fish stocking webpage.

-File photo

Washington anglers must have a valid fishing license. Licenses can be purchased online or at hundreds of license dealers across the state. Anglers parking at WDFW vehicle water-access areas are required to display the WDFW Vehicle Access Pass – provided when you purchase eligible annual fishing licenses – or a Discover Pass. Anglers visiting Washington State Parks or Department of Natural Resources lands need a Discover Pass. Information on parking passes can be found at WDFW's website.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.


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