Yakima, WA, United States (4E Sports) – A high number of anglers braved chilly weather at the start of the fishing season in the Columbia Basin, according to Washington Fish and Wildlife Department regional fisheries biologist Chad Jackson.
“Angler participation was good considering how poor the weather was on the opener. On Saturday, anglers were greeted with temperatures in the low teens, a damp and bone chilling wind blowing constantly at 10-25mph, and light snow,” Jackson said in his report.
“Had the weather been nicer I wouldn’t be surprised to have seen twice the crowds on the opener, especially considering it finally fell on a weekend,” he added.
In spite of the weather, Jackson mentioned in his report that anglers were generally happy to be out fishing and spending time with family and friends.
The official added that angler harvest was very good on Upper Caliche and Martha lakes averaging three trout per person while catch at Burke Lake was lower at two trout per person.
“However, if you only include the interviews of anglers who braved the elements and fished for two or more hours, harvest rates increased significantly to four or slightly over four trout per angler,” he said.
Jackson also mentioned that Lenice Lake also fished very well on the opener, although effort was way down from the previous couple years, with just 10-12 anglers fishing over the weekend.
“Most anglers caught between 12-15 trout ranging in size from 12-20+ inches in length. Most trout were 14-16 inches. The trout were very robust and hard fighting,” Jackson said.