By Brock Hires
With the snow melting and temperatures climbing, spring is in the air. That means there’s a reason for all those campers rolling along Okanogan County roads with fishing poles hanging out windows: Fishing season has arrived.
With more than 60 lowland lakes managed by the state in Okanogan County, some of the best fishing can be found in our region. Okanogan County also contains 110 alpine lakes at elevations above 4,500 feet.
Favorite Okanogan County waters include the two Conconully lakes, Spectacle, Alta, Wannacut, Pearrygin and Fish lakes.
Conconully includes a state park, a boat launch on each lake plus a general store, general station, pair of restaurants and numerous resorts.
Conconully is a popular destination on opening day because anglers can expect rainbow trout in the 10-12-inch range with carryover fish to 15 inches. Kokanee are running 10-13 inches, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Anglers are encouraged to retain as many bass as the daily limits allow in order to reduce competition with trout and kokanee.
To the north, Spectacle offers great fishing, too. The lake is home to rainbow trout in the 10-12-inch range along with holdover fish to 15 inches. Illegally planted largemouth bass, bluegill in the 6–8-inch range, and yellow perch are also present. Kokanee plants began in 2014 to combat large mortality to the stocked trout from illegal plants and has produced a quality fish of 10-13 inches. The 313-acre lake is home to resorts and state Department of Natural Resources access.
In the south part of Okanogan County, Alta Lake (184 acres) near Pateros offers a state park and a boat launch.
There are lots of camping areas around Wannacut, Pearrygin and Fish lakes, too.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s “Fish Washington” mobile app is an easy way keep track of what fish and regulations apply to lakes, rivers and streams managed by the state.
The state also offers printed and online fishing regulation pamphlets.
Anglers must possess a valid Washington freshwater fishing license. Licenses can be purchased online or from license dealers across the state. For more information about fishing, see wdfw.wa.gov/fishing. ♦
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