By Wayne Kruse Special to the Herald
Sometimes results and perceived results are two entirely different things, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist Justin Spinelli had an anecdote along those lines from yesterday’s traditional trout opener on the state’s lowland lakes:
“I talked to anglers on a lot of lakes, from north Snohomish County to south King County,” Spinelli said. “One guy told me he had ‘a bunch of 8-inchers,’ and he seemed happy enough. But when the creel census-taker measured his rainbow, they turned out to be 11-inchers.”
The reason this was important to Spinelli is that WDFW is engaged in a relatively new trout program designed to produce 11-inch hatchery rainbow for all planted lakes, statewide, by next year. Comments in the past by trout fishermen that they wanted larger fish than the widely-planted 8- to 10-inch “tiddlers” was heard and is being addressed, Spinelli said.
“I didn’t hear a single negative comment about the size of the trout they were catching,” he said. “There were variations, of course, but generally speaking I think we hit our size target. And in addition I saw several nice 15- or 16-inch holdovers and planted triploids.”
Dry, partly sunny weather conditions were a boost for the opener, and WDFW personnel reported good crowds at most of the popular lakes. Following is a lake by lake rundown of Saturday morning’s results, including the number of anglers checked, the number of trout kept, the number of trout reported released, and miscellaneous information:
n SNOHOMISH COUNTY: Lake Armstrong was a disappointment for the second year in a row; 26 anglers checked, 15 trout kept, 25 trout released. Sometimes a late fishery, and could be a good prospect over the next couple of months. Lake Bosworth, 31 anglers, 100 kept, 21 released; Crabapple Lake, 16 anglers, 34 kept, 34 released. Lake Ki, good turnout, 76 anglers checked, 112 kept, 100 released, three fish checked over 15 inches; Martha Lake (Alderwood Manor), lots of limits, boats doing better than bank fishermen, largest rainbow checked was 16 inches.
Lake Riley, 72 anglers, 196 trout kept, 119 released; largest checked was 15 inches, good fishing; Lake Serene, 18 anglers, 46 kept, 65 released, and two anglers had 5-fish limits, all 10 over 15 inches. Lake Stickney, 11 anglers, 19 kept, 50 released; one anglers hooked and released all 50 reported; Storm Lake, no numbers, but observer reported good catch rate; Wagner’s Lake, 10 anglers, 11 kept, 54 released, largest 16 inches. Big log reported partially blocking launch, making the lake accessible only to small boats.
n SKAGIT COUNTY: Heart Lake, 112 anglers, 330 trout kept, 133 released, largest 19 inches; Lake McMurray, 65 anglers, 199 kept, 53 released; a Wedding Ring/worm combo reportedly the hot setup; Skagit County Sheriff on lake doing boat safety checks. Lake Sixteen, 56 anglers, 156 trout kept, 59 released.
n KING COUNTY: Langlois was one of the top lakes in King County, with checks showing 51 anglers keeping 191 trout, 10 over 15 inches, and releasing 132. Creel checker noted “Two female anglers accounted for 55 of the released rainbow.”