Chelan Lake Reports
(33,000 acres): Stretching over 50 miles from the town of Chelan to Stehekin, this is the largest natural lake in Washington. Good fishing for nice-sized kokanee is usually available from mid-April through June. In June and July, catchable-size rainbow trout are planted in the lower lake near Chelan/Manson. Some fine wild trout fishing, mostly for rainbows, occurs throughout the upper lake basin above Twenty-five Mile Creek beginning in early spring. Anglers after trophy fish have a chance to catch lake trout (mackinaw) year-round. The state lake trout record has been broken three times here in the last few years. Check the latest regulations pamphlet for new rules effective in 2002 and 2003, including the removal of all size and daily limits on lake trout during open seasons. Also check for new regulations on tributaries. Landlocked chinook salmon abundance is currently diminished compared to earlier years, consequently angling for salmon is slow and is only allowed during May. WDFW is presently working to increase the number of salmon in the lake. Burbot (freshwater ling) offer excellent fishing opportunities from February through April, with set-line and jig fishing popular in the Manson/Wapato Point area. A limited smallmouth bass fishery exists in the lower lake. Although most of the lake is open year-round, the upper end is closed during April, May and June and tributary stream-mouths are closed year-round to protect pre-spawning adult trout; check the current regulations pamphlet carefully for details concerning size and catch limits, and wild cutthroat release requirements.