A trout plant of roughly 63,400 is underway in 18 year-round lakes in King, Snohomish, Whatcom, San Juan, Skagit and Island counties.

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While the rain never seems to end, always remember the fish aren’t seeking out sunny skies, and action is building for trout, chinook and bottom-fish.

A trout plant of roughly 63,400 is underway in 18 year-round lakes in King, Snohomish, Whatcom, San Juan, Skagit and Island counties with some already stocked. This comes on top of 915,000 planted in 35 year-round lakes this past fall.

“I expect some good fishing in Green, Meridian, Beaver, Ballinger and Shoecraft as those are the four larger bodies of water getting a good sizable plant of fish,” said Justin Spinelli, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist in Mill Creek.

In King County, Beaver Lake was planted on Monday with 7,053 trout; Alice got 1,281 on March 6; and Rattlesnake received 3,000 on March 6. Others being planted this month are Green, 10,000, and Meridian, 8,000.

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In Snohomish County: Cassidy, 3,475 on March 6-7. Others on the plant list include Ballinger, 9,000; Gissburg North, 500; Gissburg South, 1,500; Ketchum, 2,000; Lost (Devil’s Lake) near Maltby, 1,500; Panther, 1,500; and Shoecraft, 7,000.

In Pierce County, American was planted with 4,922 trout on March 6. In Skagit County: Grandy, 2,000 on March 10. In Clark County: Battle Ground, 2,000 on March 8; Klineline, 1,200 on March 6; and Lacamas, 4,000 on March 7. In Cowlitz County: Horseshoe, 9,400 on March 9.

Others getting plants this month are Egg, 600, and Hummel, 1,000 in San Juan County, and Squalicum, 1,000 in Whatcom County. An extensive fish kill last fall on Lone Lake in Island County will be heavily stocked to make up for the loss with 1,000 planted last month, and another 3,000 this month.

The spring chinook action along the Lower Columbia continues to build this week although poor water conditions could make success somewhat dicey.

“Effort increased, but the catch rate remained about the same as last week,” Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist reported. “Looks like more tough fishing ahead, with the Columbia gauge at Vancouver expected to hit flood stage by Thursday.”

During March 6-12, 2,601 angler trips produced a catch of 24 spring chinook (19 kept and five released).

The Lower Columbia spring chinook fishery is open through April 6 for boat and bank fishing from mouth at Buoy 10 upstream to Beacon Rock, and bank fishing only from Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam.

The coastal bottom-fishing season opened this past weekend, and in between storms success for black rockfish and lingcod has been very good.

The ports of Ilwaco, Westport and La Push are open through Oct. 21 for bottom-fish including lingcod; and Neah Bay is open through Oct. 21 for bottom-fish except the lingcod fishery opens April 16 through Oct. 15.

Fishing Report
Location  Comment
Marine areas Coastal razor clam digging this past week was good or bad depending on weather conditions. State fisheries has dug the latest test samples, and approval on the next series of digs should be known by Monday with more dates possibly added to Twin Harbors. Tentative planned dates during evening low tides are: March 24 and 26 at Mocrocks; and March 25 at Copalis. Dates then switching to morning low tides are: March 30 at Mocrocks; March 31 at Copalis and Kalaloch; April 1 at Mocrocks and Kalaloch; and April 2 at Copalis. Sekiu to Port Angeles and northern Puget Sound are fair to good for hatchery chinook, but slow to fair on east side of Whidbey Island in Saratoga Pass. Hood Canal is open for salmon through April 30; and South Puget Sound through June 30. San Juan Islands are closed for salmon, and could reopen in early April. Everett Blackmouth Derby is Saturday. Details: www.everettblackmouthderby.com/.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★  
Statewide rivers Steelhead catch picked up on Cowlitz with 51 boat anglers this past week taking home 18 steelhead and releasing two, plus 115 bank anglers had five spring chinook and eight steelhead. Slow to fair for steelhead in Kalama, Coweeman and Lewis East Fork. Wind up to Highway 14 Bridge and Drano Lake is open for hatchery chinook and steelhead, but this fishery doesn’t ramp up until next month. The Lewis is closed for spring chinook, but open for hatchery steelhead. Good for walleye in The Dalles and John Day pools. Fair on northern coastal rivers for steelhead in Bogachiel, Calawah, Sol Duc and Hoh.
Biting: MaybeRating: ★★  
Statewide lakes Look for kokanee to bite in Stevens, Sammamish, Meridian and Angle. Fair for trout at Martha, Upper Caliche, Lenice and Quincy. The Quincy Valley Tourism Association Trout Derby has been postponed until March 25 to make sure the lake is free of ice. Slow to fair for trout at Goodwin in Snohomish County. Fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish. Very good for kokanee in Lake Roosevelt. Fair to good for lake trout and kokanee in Lake Chelan. Opening day for statewide lowland lakes is April 22-23.
Biting: YesRating: ★★★