Alpine lakes with Native trout?

Brandon

Floatin'
I've spent a couple weekends this summer exploring new alpine lakes. Just last weekend, I went to a lake that was NOT listed on WDFW's high lake map. As far as I can tell, it has never been stocked.


This lake is about 2 acres, at 4,000 or so feet in elevation, and upon arrival I could see what I though were fish rising. Pumped up my tube and trolled across the lake with no takes. Just then, I looked to my side and saw a massive salamander swim up to the surface, and then back down. It was then I realized that all of the rises across the lake were just lizards. I continued to fish for a bit but saw no signs of fish at all.

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This has me wondering, how many non-stocked alpine lakes actually have native trout? I presume that some small lakes are just void of fish for one of many reasons, but this one had plenty life to it and could have easily supported a little population of cutthroat. Bugs were hatching, the lake had some depth to it, and it looked fishy.
 
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tkww

Member
I've spent a couple weekends this summer exploring new alpine lakes. Just last weekend, I went to a lake that was NOT listed on WDFW's high lake map. As far as I can tell, it has never been stocked.


This lake is about 2 acres, at 4,000 or so feet in elevation, and upon arrival I could see what I though were fish rising. Pumped up my tube and trolled across the lake with no takes. Just then, I looked to my side and saw a massive salamander swim up to the surface, and then back down. It was then I realized that all of the rises across the lake were just lizards. I continued to fish for a bit but saw no signs of fish at all.

View attachment 291627

This has me wondering, how many non-stocked alpine lakes actually have native trout? I presume that some small lakes are just void of fish for one of many reasons, but this one had plenty life to it and could have easily supported a little population of cutthroat. Bugs were hatching, the lake had some depth to it, and it looked fishy.
I'm guessing the number with "native" fish would be limited to the number of lakes that fish could reasonably swim up into. So not many. The stocking of higher lakes has been reexamined in more recent times precisely because of those 'manders. Trout feed on them and in some cases are thought to have extripated the salamander and/or other amphibian populations altogether.
 

wetline dave

Active Member
Another factor are some ducks breed in the high lakes and require an aquatic food source. Mosquito larvae is a big one for immature ducklings. And if nothing else those high lakes do breed a lot of mosquitos.

Dave
 

Lance Magnuson

WFF Premium
I've spent a couple weekends this summer exploring new alpine lakes. Just last weekend, I went to a lake that was NOT listed on WDFW's high lake map. As far as I can tell, it has never been stocked.


This lake is about 2 acres, at 4,000 or so feet in elevation, and upon arrival I could see what I though were fish rising. Pumped up my tube and trolled across the lake with no takes. Just then, I looked to my side and saw a massive salamander swim up to the surface, and then back down. It was then I realized that all of the rises across the lake were just lizards. I continued to fish for a bit but saw no signs of fish at all.

View attachment 291627

This has me wondering, how many non-stocked alpine lakes actually have native trout? I presume that some small lakes are just void of fish for one of many reasons, but this one had plenty life to it and could have easily supported a little population of cutthroat. Bugs were hatching, the lake had some depth to it, and it looked fishy.
Since the game department has ended aerial stocking, we have the HiLakers and Trailblazers to thank for continued alpine stocking by carrying fry in on their backs.

I’m guessing that there very few alpine lakes that would have native fish. As previously indicated they would have get there by swimming up the outlet stream, an impossibility for most alpine lakes.

The North Cascades Park has started a program to eradicate introduced trout in alpine lakes due to declining populations of amphibians.
 

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