Anglers try their luck to catch trout at Green Lake in North Seattle. Photo by Andy Walgamott.

Fall trout fishing options abound in lakes across the state

As water temperatures cool down, the trout action picks back up and anglers still have more than a month to participate in the WDFW Trout Derby

Fish willing to bite, a persistent chance of showers, all highlighted with a vivid landscape glowing of gold and reddish orange hues from brilliant fallen leaves, that makes autumn an awesome time to go trout fishing!

“As water temperatures start to decrease in the fall, the trout bite takes off again,” said Steve Caromile, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Inland Fish Program Manager. “Our statewide trout derby is ongoing through Oct. 31, and most lakes still have tagged fish available to catch, and an angler may even win a prize.”

The WDFW Trout Derby — which began in late-April — features more than 100 lakes planted with trout and over 800 prizes donated from around 70 participating businesses totaling about $37,000. All the trout in the derby have a white tag attached to their fin. If you catch one be sure to keep the tag to claim your prize.

The derby, held for the past eight years, has generated close to 60 percent of the tags turned in for prizes (55 percent were submitted in 2021). To help boost catching a tagged trout, WDFW has a list of all the lakes in real-time where prizes are left to be claimed. Be sure to share your derby success on social media using the hashtag #watroutderby.

While most trout plants occurred this past spring, fish that didn’t get caught have grown larger in size. Plus, WDFW hatchery staff continue to add fish into westside lakes.

Seasonal lakes across the state remain open for trout fishing through Oct. 31, while others are open year-round to provide anglers new and old with exciting, family-friendly fishing opportunities.

Several statewide lakes recently planted include:

· Goose in Skamania County, 1,011 cutthroat trout

· Dry in Chelan County, 1,000 tiger trout and 2,250 brown trout

· Antilon in Chelan County, 1,000 brown trout

· Roses in Chelan County, 4,000 brown trout

· Sylvia in Grays Harbor County, 500 rainbow trout

· Moses in Grant County with 1,184 rainbow trout

· Kokanee in Mason County, 1,600 rainbow trout

· Mayfield in Lewis County, 2,378 rainbows.

Click on the WDFW website to track statewide trout plants.

“Another great fall angling opportunity are panfish, especially for some larger yellow perch and black crappie,” Caromile said. “This time of year, these fish are starting to show up in larger schools in many of our lowland lakes. Check the WDFW website for lakes to catch these species and for videos on how to catch them.”

Helpful basic trout fishing tips can be found on the WDFW Medium blog. Before venturing to a lake, check the regulations on the WDFW website.



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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife


The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.