LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS COLUMN: Guide to lakes opener

By Lee Horton

Peninsula Daily News

IN PREPARATION FOR Saturday’s lowland lakes opener, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has stocked millions of fish in lakes throughout the state.

However, the state was a bit stingy with the fish it planted on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Of the 17 million fish that will be stocked this year, less than 10,000 have been planted in the lakes of Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Clallam was all but bypassed on the magical fish planting tour, as the county’s only plants were the 1,525 rainbow trout that were dropped in Lincoln Park Pond prior to Port Angeles’ kids fishing day.

Jefferson County, meanwhile, had nine lakes receive trout plants.

All that being said, there should be plenty of fish in the Peninsula’s lakes on what is considered the biggest fishing day of the year.

The lakes opener is a great day to take the family fishing for some trout that aren’t yet smart enough to be wary of free food hanging from the lake’s surface.

Here is a guide to Jefferson County’s lakes, including the number of fish planted within their waters:

Anderson Lake, a mile west of Chimacum:

■ Size: 57.3 acres.

■ Open: Saturday through Oct. 31.

■ Regulations: Daily limit of five trout. Catch and release in September and October.

■ Internal combustion motors prohibited.

■ Notes: There are a lot of fish that have been growing and growing as fishing has been limited to a few days for the past several years due to harmful toxins found in the lake.

Anderson is scheduled to open Saturday, but it likely will close soon.

Gibbs Lake, 3.5 miles southwest of Chimacum, off Gibbs Lake Road (accessed from West Valley Road):

■ Size 35.6 acres.

■ Open: Year-round.

■ Regulations: Catch and release trout.

■ Internal combustion motors prohibited.

■ Trout stock: 1,565 rainbow trout were planted in late March. Scheduled to receive 70 triploids this month.

Because Gibbs is a catch-and-release lake, there should be many holdovers from previous years.

■ Notes: A peaceful spot to catch and release trout. Great for a float tube.

Horseshoe Lake, 4 miles southwest of Port Ludlow:

■ Size: 11.4 acres.

■ Open: Saturday through Oct. 31.

■ Regulations: No minimum size. Daily limit: one trout.

■ Internal combustion motors prohibited.

■ Trout stock: 40 cutthroat trout were planted in early March.

Lake Leland, just off Highway 101, about five miles north of Quilcene ramp:

■ Size: 107.8 acres.

■ Open: Year-round.

■ Regulations: No minimum size. Daily limit: five trout, including two over 14 inches.

■ Trout stock: 300 cutthroat were planted in March, but anglers already caught many of them.

■ Notes: Leland has been a good fishing spot since the fall.

Along with trout, it also features largemouth bass, black crappie, blue gill, yellow perch and catfish. Trout and bass are the best bets for the coming months.

Ludlow Lake, 4.5 miles west of Port Ludlow:

■ Size: 15.2 acres.

■ Open: Saturday through Oct. 31.

■ Regulations: No minimum size. Daily limit: five trout, including two over 14 inches.

■ Trout stock: 1,104 rainbow were planted in early April.

■ Notes: Brown bullhead and largemouth bass also can be caught here.

The lake is only accessible via private roads on Olympic Resources property. The gates should be open throughout the entire fishing season.

Sandy Shore Lake, 5 miles southwest of Port Ludlow, off Sandy Shore Road:

■ Size: 34.9 acres.

■ Open: Saturday through Oct. 31.

■ Public boat ramp.

■ Regulations: No minimum size. Daily limit: five trout, including two over 14 inches.

■ Trout stock: 2,541 rainbow planted earlier this month.

■ Notes: A popular opening-day destination, as evidenced by its Peninsula-high trout plant.

Also offers good largemouth bass fishing in May and June.

Silent Lake, 5 miles southeast of Quilcene, on east side of Dabob Bay:

■ Size: 10.7 acres.

■ Open: Saturday through Oct. 31.

■ Public boat ramp; minimal bank fishing.

■ Regulations: No minimum size. Daily limit: five trout, including two over 14 inches.

■ Trout stock: 850 rainbow planted earlier this month.

■ Notes: Secluded setting for rainbow and cutthroat.

Tarboo Lake, 3 miles north of Quilcene:

■ Size: 20.3 acres.

■ Open: Saturday through Oct. 31.

■ Public boat ramp; internal combustion motors prohibited.

■ Regulations: No size minimum. Daily limit: five trout, including up to two trout over 14 inches.

■ Trout stock: 1,730 rainbow planted in late March and early April.

■ Notes: Best spots are along the lake’s wooded shoreline.

You’ll need a boat to fish Tarboo.

Teal Lake, 2 miles south of Port Ludlow:

■ Size: 15 acres.

■ Open: Year-round.

■ Access limited to float tube, brushy shoreline or fishing from the small dock.

■ Regulations: No minimum size. Daily limit: one trout.

■ Trout stock: 40 rainbow and 40 cutthroat were planted in March. Also scheduled to receive 30 triploids this month.

■ Notes: Selective gear fishing only.

Most popular among fly fishers. Offers large fish, not large quantity.

Here is a guide to lakes of Clallam County:

Beaver Lake, 3 miles northeast of Sappho, 16 miles northeast of Forks:

■ Size: 36.3 acres.

■ Open: Year-round.

■ Public boat ramp; internal combustion motors prohibited.

■ Regulations: No minimum, 12-inch maximum. Daily limit: five trout.

■ Notes: Best for cutthroat, but yellow perch and largemouth bass are also present.

Selective gear rules are in effect for all species.

Lake Pleasant, 5 miles off U.S. Highway 101, west of Sappho; 10 miles north of Forks:

■ Size: 492.6 acres.

■ Open: Year-round.

■ Public boat ramp, loading and mooring docks, accessible restrooms, parking and a playground.

■ Regulations: 8-inch minimum on all trout; 6-inch minimum, 18-inch maximum on kokanee.

■ Notes: Cutthroat, rainbow and kokanee can be caught in Lake Pleasant. Best fishing seems to happen in late spring/early summer.

Lake Sutherland, 10 miles west of Port Angeles, off U.S. Highway 101:

■ Size: 351.3 acres.

■ Open: Saturday through Oct. 31.

■ Public boat ramp.

■ Regulations: Minimum 6 inches, maximum 18 inches. Daily limits: five each of trout and kokanee.

■ Notes: Sutherland is best known for its kokanee fishing.

Wentworth Lake, almost eight miles northwest of Forks, between the East and West forks of the Dickey River:

■ Size: 48 acres.

■ Open: Year-round.

■ Regulations: Daily limit of five each for cutthroat, kokanee and rainbow.

■ Internal combustion motors prohibited.

■ Notes: No trout plants have been reported yet, but Wentworth should be stocked soon.

________



Outdoors columnist Lee Horton appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 24. 2013 5:32PM
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