Anglers lured for trout season Opening weekend for lakes in the lowland

MILL CREEK — The docks around Martha Lake were packed with fishermen, some of them waiting for hours to reel in a single fish.

Not John Degroot.

Degroot, 54, of Everett, needed only an hour to catch five silvery trout from the Mill Creek lake.

“I limited out, so today was good for me,” Degroot said.

Roughly 300,000 anglers were expected to wet their fishing lines Saturday, the opening day of the lowland lakes trout season in Washington.

To prepare for the opening day, the state Fish and Wildlife Department stocked more than 300 lakes with 24 million trout. Most of the fish ranged in size from 7 to 11 inches.

Martha Lake, which opened for fishing Saturday, was recently stocked with about 10,000 trout. Other lakes in Snohomish County that were stocked with hatchery fish include Silver Lake in Everett, Lake Roesiger near Monroe and Lake Serene in Lynnwood.

Fishing is allowed year-round at some lakes in the county.

Shawn Wilson, 27, was at Martha Lake for opening day with his 3-year-old daughter, Marissa. The previous morning, Marissa used her SpongeBob SquarePants pole to catch her first fish — a 12-inch rainbow trout — at Twin Lakes in Smokey Point.

“Her first words when she caught the fish were ‘fish on,’” Wilson said.

Wilson and his daughter were at Twin Lakes and Silver Lake on Saturday before coming to Martha Lake. They had yet to catch a fish, but they watched plenty of other people reel in their dinners.

“Quite a few people have caught their limit already and left,” Wilson said.

Patrick Afaisen, 45, of Lacey was one of the first fishermen to arrive at Martha Lake on opening day. He made time to fish in Snohomish County while traveling to Blaine for work.

By late morning, he had caught three trout.

“Every lake is different,” said Afaisen, who usually fishes at lakes in southern Washington. “Down there, the fish are bigger than they are up here.”

Although Degroot caught his limit early, he hung out at Martha Lake throughout the morning. His son, Robbie Degroot, was still trying to catch his fifth fish of the day.

The younger Ddegroot had hooked what appeared to be a 13-inch trout, but the big fish got away when his line wrapped around a lily pad and snapped a few feet from the dock.

He didn’t let that ruin his day.

“This is great, it’s nice,” Robbie Degroot said. “I wish it wasn’t so crowded.”

Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

The Safeway store at 4128 Rucker Ave., on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Mike Henneke / The Herald)
Police: Everett Safeway ex-worker accused of trying to ram customers

The man, 40, was showing symptoms of psychosis, police wrote. Officers found him circling another parking lot off Mukilteo Boulevard.

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell speaks during a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the 196th ST SW Improvement Project near the 196th and 44th Ave West intersection in Lynnwood, Washington on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Jarred by anti-Semitic rants, Lynnwood council approves tax increase

Three people spewed hate speech via Zoom at a council meeting this week. Then, the council moved on to regular business.

The county canvassing board certifies election results at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
General election results stamped official by canvassing board

In Snohomish County, one hand recount will take place. Officials said ballot challenges were down this year.

The Days Inn on Everett Mall Way, which Snohomish County is set to purchase and convert into emergency housing, is seen Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Over $130M for affordable housing set to be approved by County Council

The five-year investment plan of the 0.1% sales tax aims to construct 550 new affordable units.

Two snowboarders head up the mountain in a lift chair on the opening day of ski season at Stevens Pass Ski Area on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, near Skykomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Ski season delayed at Stevens Pass due to minimal snow

Resort originally planned to open Dec. 1. But staff are hopeful this week’s snow will allow guests to hit the slopes soon.

Siblings Qingyun, left, and Ruoyun Li, 12 and 13, respectively, are together on campus at Everett Community College on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023, in Everett, Washington. The two are taking a full course load at the community college this semester. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Siblings, age 12 and 13, are youngest students at EvCC campus

Qingyun Li was 11 when he scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test. His sister, Ruoyun, was one point away.

Edmond’s newly elected mayor Mike Rosen on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Mayor-elect Rosen wants to ‘make Edmonds politics boring again’

Mike Rosen handily defeated incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson. He talked with The Herald about how he wants to gather the “full input” of residents.

Graffiti covers the eastern side of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County Cascade Unit on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Again, Boys and Girls Club tagged with suspected gang signs in Everett

Residents on Cascade Drive say their neighborhood has been the scene of excessive graffiti and sometimes gunfire in the past year.

Pam and Ken Owens, of Granite Falls,  stop to take cell phone photos of the flooding along Lincoln Avenue on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 in Snohomish, Washington. The couple were planing to take the road to Monroe for lunch.   (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Brace for flooding: Weeklong storm to pummel Snohomish County

Weekend weather may pose problems as meteorologists project flooding near Snohomish and Monroe and officials plan for outages.

An STI clinic opened Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free STI clinic opens in Everett after 14-year hiatus — and as rates spike

The county-run facility will provide treatment and resources for prevention of sexually transmitted infections.

Offloading ferry traffic is stopped to allow pedestrians to cross the street at the Edmonds ferry dock on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 in Edmonds. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
2-ferry service restored on Edmonds-Kingston route — for a weekend

M/V Salish, one of the system’s smallest vessels, will fill in through Sunday after weeks of one boat on the route.

Marysville Pilchuck High School students talk with Snohomish County council members Jared Mead and Nate Nate Nehring during a Civic Engagement Day event hosted at the county campus on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At Everett event, Mead, Nehring look to bridge partisan gap

Two Snohomish County Council members can pinpoint the day they really started talking about putting civility over partisanship. It was Jan. 6.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.