This is a reply to my post on the flyshop BB:
The road to Ebey has been closed for about three years now by a gate that was installed by property owners. The lake itself lies on state DNR property, but the lower part of the road apparently crosses a belt of privately owned land. The DNR forester for that area told me that there was an easement but that the "easement was was only to allow the DNR or its designees to carry out logging".
Prior to the installation of the gate by property owners, the road was open to the edge of DNR property, where there was locked gate to prevent dumping and timber theft. From that gate, it was a nearly three mile walk on good gravel roads to the lake (there was also some sort of car access to within about a hundred yards of the west side of the lake, apparently via a logging road, but I was never able to track it down).
The lake has been fly fishing only for as long as I can remember (at least for the last fifty years) and has a self-sustaining population of coastal cutthroat. It was originally used as a log pond when the area was first logged, and covered a relatively small area, but beavers dammed the outlet (Hell Creek, which drains to the North Fork of the Stillaguamish) and increased its size considerably. Local vandals dynamited the beaver dam at some time in the 'sixties and the Game Department replaced it with a concrete structure to stabilize the lake level. The main pond is still the only part of the lake deep enough to fish in, the rest being very shallow and clogged with stumps, snags and downed trees. It does, however provide excellent bug habitat.
When the lake was still accessible it was, unfortunately, poached quite a bit, as evidenced by the empty jars of salmon eggs and styrofoam bait containers one always seemed to find. In spite of that, it usually provided good (sometimes excellent) fishing with dark, but colorful and feisty cutthroat up to twenty inches. There were excellent hatches of midges, Callibaetis, damselflies and dragonflies; all in all, too good a lake to lose.
Ebey was always a unique place to me. Because of the extra effort required to get to it and its relative isolation, it always seemed to be the prototype of the little lake lost in the cutover country. I rarely saw anyone else there, and to spend a day with the blooming buckbean, swamp laurel and Greenland tea, while the swallows and nighthawks swooped and soared overhead was always a special experience.
I do believe that we need to mount a campaign to restore public access to Ebey, to harass the DNR and the WDFW until something is done. It might be difficult in this time of straitened budgetary resources and it might take more than a little time, but it needs to be done.