• WDFW District 5, March 1, 2018 opening day prospects

  • Talk all about trout here.
Talk all about trout here.
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 #240620  by Mike Schmuck
 Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:49 pm
Some of you may know me from my work as a member of the WDFW Region 2 Warmwater Assessment Team in Ephrata. I have taken a new position and I am now the District Fish Bio for WDFW District 5 (Grant and Adams Counties). I want to share our prospects for the March 1 opener. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to give me a call or email.
509-754-4624 x227
Michael.Schmuck@dfw.wa.gov

District 5 Lakes (Grant and Adams County) — District Fish Biologist Mike Schmuck
• District 5 Trout Stocking Summary: Includes 2017 fingerling plants (11–13 inches this spring), fall catchable (2.5 fish per pound) as well as spring 2017 catchable trout plants. Contact the WDFW Region 2 office at 509-754-4624 and request a copy.
• March 1 opener: We had a rather mild winter and nearly all of our lakes are ice free. We do have ice on a few of our lakes and anglers should be cautious as most ice is not safe to walk on. Anglers can call the Region 2 office for ice updates.
o Martha and Upper Caliche Lakes are usually the top producers on opening day with near limit catches of good size fish. As of February 27, 2018 Martha Lake is 30% ice covered (south end). Both of these lakes received 2,000 fall catchables in 2017. Martha Lake will receive another 4,000 this spring, while Upper Caliche will receive another 2,000.

o Lenice and Nunnally Lakes should fish well for trout in the 14–16 inch range, with some up to 20 inches. Both these lakes received 3,000 catchables in fall 2017 and will receive another 2,250 (Lenice) and 2,750 (Nunnally) in April 2018.

o Quincy and Burke Lakes should continue to fish well although I think that Quincy will produce bigger fish in 2018. Yellow Perch are abundant in Burke Lake which will affect fingerling survival and growth. Anglers can expect good numbers of 11–13 inch trout there, however. In addition to annual spring fingerling plants, Burke Lake was stocked with 5,000 fall catchables in 2017 and will receive another 2,000 this May. Quincy Lake, which also receives fingerlings, will receive 3,000 catchables this May. Other lakes to consider include Lenore, Dusty, Crystal, Upper and Lower Spring, Cup and Cliff.

If you would like a copy of our 2018 stocking plan for District 5 please send me an email and I will send you the PDF.
 #240624  by Larry3215
 Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:06 pm
Hi Mike,

Congrats on the new job! Wait...it was a promotion wasnt it? ;)

In any case, good luck with your new duties!

So, who is going to be getting us the fall walleye reports from now on? Do you have a junior you can delegate that to or?
 #240628  by Mike Schmuck
 Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:26 am
Thanks Larry.

Yes, it was a promotion. In 2017, due to budget issues, we only conducted our Walleye index netting on Banks Lake and FDR. We are analyzing our long-term data set to determine how often we need to sample our 5 major walleye waters. It's likely that we will go to a less frequent sampling schedule (e.g. every 2—5 years or so).

As far as a walleye report goes, we have changed the format quite a bit. This year, and perhaps going forward, there will be two documents offered. The first is a short "outreach" document directed at anglers to provide them with bare bones info on what we found and where they might find lots of walleye. This year's outreach pamphlet on FDR, for example, is about 4 pages.

The second document will be a technical report written for managers of these fisheries (District Bios and Regional Fish Program Managers).

This year Kent Meyer (Region 1 Warmwater Team) will be writing the FDR outreach document. Marc Petersen (Region 2 Warmwater Team) will be writing the Banks Lake outreach document. Normally there will be one outreach document written for all lakes; however, this year we're trying it this way.

The plan is for Kent to write one technical report covering both lakes. These documents should be available by April 1.

Mike
 #240685  by Mike Schmuck
 Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:17 am
March 1, 2018 Opening day creel report — Mike Schmuck, District 5 Fish Biologist WDFW

Lenice Lake fished well on the opener for anglers willing to fight the rain and somewhat windy conditions. I received reports from anglers who were very pleased with their catch rates as well as the size of the fish caught. Fish ranged in size from 13-18 inches. Selective gear rules apply on this lake and anglers may only keep one trout per day. Lenice was stocked with 3,000 catchable trout in October 2017 and will receive another 2,250 in April 2018.

Upper Caliche Lake produced lots of nice fish for anglers on the opener. We interviewed 23 anglers who averaged 4.6 fish per person. The average length of trout caught was 13 inches. Two trout caught in Lower Caliche — a lake we do not stock — were over 19 inches! These fish likely snuck into Lower Caliche via a small, partially obstructed stream that connects the two lakes. Upper Caliche was stocked with 3,900 fingerling trout in April 2017 and 2,000 catchables in October 2017. It is scheduled to receive another 2,000 this May.

Martha Lake is a consistent producer on opening day and this year was no exception. 46 anglers managed an average of 4.4 fish per person and these fish averaged 14 inches. Martha Lake will continue to fish well throughout the spring and will receive 4,000 catchable trout, split between March and April.

Burke and Quincy Lakes were a bit slower than in previous years but some anglers were able to catch limits of trout. Burke Lake catch rates were 3 fish per person and the average size was 10.5 inches. Trout in Burke Lake are struggling due to competition with yellow perch, which directly compete with trout for food.

Quincy Lake anglers caught fewer fish, on average, than other lakes — 2 fish per angler — but fish in Quincy Lake were larger than in Burke. Trout averaged 14 inches and were clearly represented by two age classes. The 2016 carry overs were 14–17 inches, while the 2017 fingerlings were 9–12 inches. Both these lakes will receive 3,000 catchables in May 2018.

Lake Lenore and Nunnally Lake received very little fishing pressure on the opener and we have no fishing report at this time.
 #240704  by riverhunter
 Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:20 pm
I fished quincy lake on the 3rd and while the fishing was slower then in the past I managed to get 4 from 7am-11am. Early in the morning I kept getting nibbles but the fish were not commiting to it. Must of had at least a dozen nibbles without a hookup. I caught 1 carryoever at about 17in and 3 smaller 12in fish. All had great pink quality meat to them. I used 1 orange power egg slipped up past the hook and power dough in chartreuse on the hook with bloody tuna scent added. Hope this helps those that are struggling to catch a few fish