North Central Washington: ens of Columbia Basin lakes, which are stocked with rainbow trout, have melted out enough to be fished on March 1, opening day of the season, said Chad Jackson, a fish biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Over the eight-month season, anglers usually have good luck fishing for 12-inch yearling rainbows in Upper Caliche, Martha, Burke, and Quincy lakes, Jackson said. Upper Caliche and Quincy lakes are usually best for larger carryover fish.
Burke Lake, though 40 to 50 percent covered by ice, is fishable as of late February, Jackson said. Quincy Lake as well as Lower Spring and Cup lakes, which are part of the Quincy lake chain, had too much ice to be fished as of late February, he said. Anglers should check lake conditions before heading out.
Grant Countys Lenore Lake, where anglers fish for big Lahontan cutthroat trout, also was ice-covered in late February.
Check the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet under Eastside Lakes (special rules) for all March 1 opening fisheries in the region. Anglers can find the total trout allotments for these and other fisheries, as well as weekly catchable trout plant reports
March is the last month to keep fish caught in several Okanogan County lakes. Big and Little Green lakes near Omak, Rat Lake near Brewster, and Davis Lake near Winthrop have been producing rainbow trout catches through the ice. Patterson Lake near Winthrop, which is open year-round, also has been a good spot for ice-fishing for trout. Anglers should use caution as the weather warms this month and ice thickness diminishes.
Hatchery steelhead fishing, which opened in mid-February, continues on portions of the Columbia, Wenatchee, and Icicle rivers in the north end of the region. Open are the Columbia River from Rock Island Dam upstream to 400 feet below Wells Dam; the Wenatchee River from the mouth to 400 feet below Tumwater Dam; and the Icicle River from the mouth to 500 feet downstream of the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery Barrier Dam. Whitefish fishing also opened in mid-February on the Wenatchee River from the mouth to the Highway 2 Bridge at Leavenworth.