How about this?

girlfisher

Active Member
I have been witnessing nice chironomid hatches that have brought flurries of fish to the surface since about mid March. I suspect this has been true for a lot of low elevation lakes. Fast forward to late June or early July and a lot of the same waters become quite warm. Along with the unfavorable water temps come uncomfortable 90-degree air temps. The older I get, it seems, the less tolerant I am of warmer weather!

Why not open all low land "trout" lakes in March and "consider" closing them down (Hoot Owl, if you will) in July and August? It's just a selfish thought that has probably been discussed before. But, sometimes views change over time and maybe there just might be some new sentiment.

July and August would feature warm water fishing for those who can tolerate the heat and higher elevation lakes for trout fishing pursuits.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
I have been witnessing nice chironomid hatches that have brought flurries of fish to the surface since about mid March. I suspect this has been true for a lot of low elevation lakes. Fast forward to late June or early July and a lot of the same waters become quite warm. Along with the unfavorable water temps come uncomfortable 90-degree air temps. The older I get, it seems, the less tolerant I am of warmer weather!

Why not open all low land "trout" lakes in March and "consider" closing them down (Hoot Owl, if you will) in July and August? It's just a selfish thought that has probably been discussed before. But, sometimes views change over time and maybe there just might be some new sentiment.

July and August would feature warm water fishing for those who can tolerate the heat and higher elevation lakes for trout fishing pursuits.

For that matter why are many lakes not open to year round fishing but with regulations that fit the lake? I'm so not a fan of conditioning and teaching young sporting people that your harvest a maximum limit on a stringer then let it freezer burn all to do it next year. More sporting and catch sand release selective lessons should be taught (and it starts with the department) to maximize the dwindling opportunities we have. I'm with you. Why is a cold water fishery open in the dog days of summer when mortality to hooked fish is highest? My theory is that the department basically manages for put and take by in large and for few quality waters so it doesn't matter. They consider hooked fish dead fish and they are right in many instances as allot of anglers that are more catch and release don't fish when water temps soar anyway.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Can’t say I disagree with your thoughts other then thinking about multi species lakes and where the lakes are located.
Western WA summer weather isn’t the same as Central WA weather.
Some of the best warmwater species fishing is in the summer, so a blanket closure in July and August would eliminate those opportunities.
It seems just closing it for trout but leaving it open for other species would create enforcement challenges.
I think you’d need to look at it on a lake by lake basis but I do understand where you are coming from.
SF
 

Shad

Active Member
I agree. Really no reason I can see to close put and take lakes, especially during March and April. If I want to fish a lake with next to no fish in it in January (I don't), what harm can that possibly do?

And yeah, I also agree the 5 fish limit is excessive, but it's typical of WDFW's harvest first mentality. With salmon, they do their best every year to have every available fish caught in the ocean, rivers and people who like to fish them be damned. In a year that marked the beginning of the end of spring steelheading, it would have been nice to have more lakes open as a consolation prize.

I understand why most rivers are closed this time of year, and I'm fine with it. That said, the vast majority of lowland lakes don't have endangered smolts in them. Indeed, in most, there is little to no natural (trout) spawning to speak of. Why bother to close them?
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
I agree. Really no reason I can see to close put and take lakes, especially during March and April. If I want to fish a lake with next to no fish in it in January (I don't), what harm can that possibly do?

And yeah, I also agree the 5 fish limit is excessive, but it's typical of WDFW's harvest first mentality. With salmon, they do their best every year to have every available fish caught in the ocean, rivers and people who like to fish them be damned. In a year that marked the beginning of the end of spring steelheading, it would have been nice to have more lakes open as a consolation prize.

I understand why most rivers are closed this time of year, and I'm fine with it. That said, the vast majority of lowland lakes don't have endangered smolts in them. Indeed, in most, there is little to no natural (trout) spawning to speak of. Why bother to close them?

I swear it's just to build anticipation and circus like atmospheres to opening day. I think it's seen as a way to sell licenses. There are lakes open year round near me. Not many but a couple and they are generally reliably good fishing. Some haver both warm and coldwater fisheries. They are honestly less crowded and better fishing more of the time than most circus lakes. I like to catch a fish in winter that's been in a lake for a couple years. They look nicer and behave more like a trout should. I'm not into the no fins power bait puking loid show. That same fish, if it lives, a season or two later is a nice fish to catch on a streamer or dry on the right evening. It's good long term value as well. I think more year round lakes should be and if I was wdfw and concerned about licence sales I'd let it be known that you get more with your licence. Maybe getting more would resonate with people and get them to purchase more of them.
 

Shad

Active Member
I swear it's just to build anticipation and circus like atmospheres to opening day. I think it's seen as a way to sell licenses. There are lakes open year round near me. Not many but a couple and they are generally reliably good fishing. Some haver both warm and coldwater fisheries. They are honestly less crowded and better fishing more of the time than most circus lakes. I like to catch a fish in winter that's been in a lake for a couple years. They look nicer and behave more like a trout should. I'm not into the no fins power bait puking loid show. That same fish, if it lives, a season or two later is a nice fish to catch on a streamer or dry on the right evening. It's good long term value as well. I think more year round lakes should be and if I was wdfw and concerned about licence sales I'd let it be known that you get more with your licence. Maybe getting more would resonate with people and get them to purchase more of them.
Agreed on the year-round lakes we do have. That's why I want more of them! The coolest memories I have from lakes are the surprise holdovers and non-target species (bad luck for them; I ain't too proud to fish panfish and ditch pickles when they come to play).
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
It would be interesting to know how much hatchery activity is justified by put-and-take regs and mixed warm/cold fisheries. Maybe putting species in waters where they die out every year isn’t a great idea. Maximum harvest is the bane of our waters wherever it is prioritized.
 

troutpocket

Active Member
WDFW went through a rules “simplification” excercise a few years ago. From a lakes perspective, we lost some prime spring trout fishing when April 1 openers were changed to traditional last Saturday in April and gained some that were changed to March 1 openers. Someone at the time suggested that the Department offer an endorsement for year-round C&R selective gear fishing for lakes across the state. I’d pay for that!

And I agree they should revisit their choices for setting the traditional trout season. As the region continues to warm we are losing more of the prime cold water opportunities.
 

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