Opening day prospects continued

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Dennis Clay

This is the second in a series of columns about the fishing prospects in Columbia Basin lakes.

Today we continue with the prospects for the opening day of Columbia Basin fishing. Opening day will be Saturday, April 27 this year. We backtrack a bit and then continue. Read on.

Warden Lake

After years of good fishing and catch rates above 3.3 fish per angler, catch rates dropped to 1.6 rainbow trout per angler in 2018.

Warden Lake is suffering from an abundance of bass and sunfish, which directly compete with adult trout for food and prey upon fingerling rainbow trout.

Consequently, angler catch rates have declined and trout growth has suffered. Warden Lake receives 65,000 spring fingerling rainbow trout, 7,000 spring fingerling tiger trout and 15,000 fall ‘put-grow-take’ rainbow trout (6–9 inches) each year.

Despite stocking this many fish, we don’t expect catch rates to improve significantly until Warden Lake is treated with rotenone to remove unwanted fish species.

Vic Meyers

This small, 12-acre lake located in Sun Lakes State Park receives a fair amount of fishing pressure and has produced some nice fish in the past. However, in 2018 we did not collect any creel information from anglers.

The lake has excellent shore access and is a good choice for campers in the park.

In spring 2018, Vic Meyers Lake received 3,653 fingerling rainbow trout, 501 fingerling brown trout and 1,205 fingerling brook trout. In May 2019, it will also receive 3,000 catchable rainbow trout.

Prior to the opener a number of tagged rainbow trout will be stocked into Vic Meyers Lake in association with Fish and Wildlife’s 2019 Trout Fishing Derby.

The 2019 Statewide Trout Fishing Derby information:

How it works: 1. Catch a tagged rainbow trout in one of over 100 stocked lakes statewide to win a prize. 2. Call Fish and Wildlife for prize info. Winning derby trout will have a blue tag attached to their fin. Call the phone number on the tag to find out where to claim your prize.

3. Win. Bring your tag to the business location you were provided to claim your derby prize. 4. Share your success. Take a photo of yourself and your winning derby trout to share on social media. #watroutderby

Stocked lakes in the Columbia Basin include: Corral, Deep and Vic Meyers also known as Rainbow Lake.

The derby dates are April 27 through Oct. 31. There are over 1,000 prizes totaling over $39,000. The prize value ranges from $25 to $1,000.

Next week: More fishing prospects.

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