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There is plenty of trout angling life left after last weekend’s statewide lowland lakes opener, and the best is yet to come heading into May.

“Everyone was doing really well on the (Saturday) opener,” said Danny Garrett, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist who conducted creel surveys at Margaret Lake in King County.

Margaret had one of the higher opening-day catch rates in King County lakes with a 4.0 fish kept per angler. The daily limit in most lakes is five trout.

Other King County lakes that fared well were Langlois and North, 4.1; Steel, 4.2; Cottage, 2.5; Geneva, 3.2; and Pine, 3.3. While places like Wilderness, 1.03 and Walker, 1.8 started off slow expect them to pick up in the days ahead.

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To the north in Snohomish County the high catch rates went to Martha at Alderwood Manor and Sixteen, 3.2; Riley, 3.1; and Storm, 4.3. Whatcom County as a whole had the best marks with Cain, 4.2; Padden, 4.0; and Silver, 3.2. In Island County, Deer and Goss tied with a 3.2.

Top catch rates in Southwest Washington were: Buck and Mission, 3.5, and Wildcat, 3.6 in Kitsap County; Aldrich, 4.4, Clara, 4.5, and Howell, 4.4 in Mason County; Carney, 3.4 and Rapjohn, 3.6 in Pierce County; Deep and Ward, 3.3, Hicks, 3.2, and Pattison, 3.4 in Thurston County; Aberdeen, 2.6 in Grays Harbor County; and Mineral, 2.6 in Lewis County.

In Eastern Washington, the top producers included Fishtrap, 4.4 in Lincoln County; Williams, 3.6 and West Medical, 3.1 in Spokane County, 3.6; Rocky, 4.2, and Starvation, 4.0 in Stevens County; Ellen, 4.2 in Ferry County; Diamond, 5.0 in Pend Oreille County; Warden, 4.2 in Grant County; and Conconully Lake, 3.4 and Conconully Reservoir, 3.0 in Okanogan County.

To see the statewide trout-stocking plan, go to

Coastal razor clams are also on the minds of many outdoor lovers with Twin Harbors and Long Beach open Thursday; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks open Friday through Sunday. All beaches are open during morning low tides only.

“We’ll have data after (the upcoming digs) and possibly schedule more digs in May,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “We’re not done with this baby just yet.”

Important dates: Thursday, lingcod fishing opens many parts of Puget Sound; Thursday, Ilwaco opens for halibut fishing; Saturday, Puget Sound opens for spot shrimp season; Sunday, Westport opens for halibut fishing; May 9-10, Marine Catch Areas 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 open for halibut fishing; May 15, La Push and Neah Bay opens for halibut fishing; and May 17 is Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby.

Fishing Report
Location  Comment
Marine areas Virtually all marine areas are now closed for salmon fishing except southern Puget Sound, which is open for hatchery chinook. The Edmonds Pier is open for salmon. Good for mix of perch, flounder, lingcod, rockfish and kelp greenling off the Westport South Jetty. Excellent for lingcod and black rockfish at Westport, La Push, Neah Bay and Ilwaco.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars
Statewide rivers Catch rates for spring chinook have increased at Drano Lake at Little White Salmon River mouth (Drano Lake is closed every Wednesday through June) with one kept per every six rods, and Wind River for one in every five. Fair to good for spring chinook and steelhead in the Cowlitz between the hatcheries. Spring chinook catches on the rise off the banks at Bonneville Pool, and in The Dalles and John Day pools which are open through May 9. Fair for steelhead in the Kalama, but slow in the Lewis. Good for walleye in The Dalles and John Day pools. Steelhead fishing is closed in the Hoh, Quinault, Clearwater, Quillayute, Dickey, Bogachiel, Calawah and Sol Duc, but Sol Duc is open for spring chinook.
Biting: YesRating: 3 stars
Statewide lakes Fair to good at Potholes Reservoir for walleye and trout. Lake Chelan is good for lake trout and kokanee. Slow to fair for cutthroat trout in Lake Washington. Fair to good at Lake Roosevelt for kokanee and rainbows. Slow to fair for kokanee at Lake Stevens, but better at American Lake. Some year-round lakes producing good trout action are Meridian, Spanaway, Angle, Green in North Seattle, Lone and Pass.
Biting: yesRating: 3 stars

Mark Yuasa: 206-464-8780 or

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