Local anglers ready for opening day April 25

April 21, 2009

By Bob Taylor

The alarm clock rings at 4 a.m., the coffee pot percolates a half-hour later and then most local anglers, after a gulp of coffee and a bite of toast, will trek to Pine Lake in Sammamish or to their favorite lake for the April 25 Opening Day of lowland lake fishing.Opening Day has become one of the state’s most popular sports attractions. In fact, state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials expect nearly 300,000 anglers to cast a line this weekend.

In preparation for a banner opening day, the department has stocked more than 19.8 million trout in lakes and streams throughout the state, including those planted in waters that opened earlier this spring or are open year-round.

Locally, the most popular opening day fishing hole will be Pine Lake. Each year, Pine Lake attracts hundreds of anglers, some who fish on the lake in small aluminum boats, canoes or inflatable rafts, from the shore or from the dock. 

Some anglers get to the lake before the crack of dawn. Often, anglers arriving at about 5 a.m. meet other anglers leaving with their limit of five trout.

The dock gets packed quickly, so anglers are advised to get there as early as possible.

One important note, no gas motorboats are allowed on Pine Lake.

The lake was planted with rainbow trout earlier this month. The 88-acre lake also has some brown trout and triploid trout. Triploids, which average one to one and a half pounds, are called triploid because they have three sets of chromosomes instead of the normal two, making them sterile. It also makes the fish voracious feeders with the potential to grow to trophy size.  

Beaver Lake, also located in Sammamish, will attract anglers, too. Beaver Lake is actually a combination of three lakes linked by a canal, with two smaller lakes on either end of the main lake. 

The lake, open year round, was planted with rainbows and triploids earlier this year. Like Pine Lake, no gas motorboats are allowed on Beaver Lake. Unlike Pine Lake, Beaver Lake is more of a challenge for anglers, because it doesn’t have a lot of shoreline to fish from because of lily pads and weeds. 

However, anglers who fish the lake a lot often come home with large trout. There’s also downed timber in the water, which makes for good fish structure and adds to the lake’s natural setting and charm. 

Other nearby lakes that have been planted and should receive some attention this weekend are Lake Boren in Newcastle and Rattlesnake Lake, located on Interstate 90 east of Issaquah. 

Rattlesnake Lake has large rainbow. Electric motors are allowed. Anglers should check Fish and Wildlife for regulations regarding selective gear rules.

Anglers should be aware that planted trout tend to be in the top 3 feet to 5 feet of water for up to a week after planting. As each week goes by, anglers should drop the hook deeper in the water to where the fish are feeding. One of the nice things about Pine Lake is that there are usually veteran anglers around to give novices advice.

Power baits and eggs usually work best early in the season.

Other King County hot spots should be Langlois Lake near Carnation and Wilderness Lake in Maple Valley. Langlois, a 40-acre lake, has disabled accessible facilities. Wilderness, a 67-acre lake, has ample bank access on the northwest shore. 

Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson said he believes that with economic times tough for many families, trout fishing is an outstanding bargain. 

A fishing license for adults (16-69) is $21.90 and free for children 14 and under. Fifteen-year-olds and persons with disabilities can purchase a license for $8.21. Seniors (70 and older) can buy an annual fishing license for $5.48.

“This may be the best time ever for those who used to fish to get back into it with family and friends,” Anderson said.

What to know
-Fishing licenses can be purchased online at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by calling 1-866-246-9453 toll-free or at license dealers across the state. Locally, fishing licenses can be purchased at Big 5 Sporting Goods and at Fred Meyer.
-Anglers using Department of Fish and Wildlife access sites are required to display a Department of Fish and Wildlife vehicle use permit on their vehicle. Every person who purchases a fishing license receives a free vehicle use permit.
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