In the heart of Washington state lies the third deepest lake in the country. Lake Chelan in Chelan County has over 50 miles of beautiful, crystal-clear water and is known as one of the best cold-water fishing spots in the Pacific Northwest.
There are plenty of things to do around Lake Chelan, including wine tastings, swimming, and sightseeing, but nothing beats fishing in this beautiful lake. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about fishing in Lake Chelan, WA:
What can you fish in the lake?
Lake Chelan is home to many species of fish, the biggest of which are the chinook or king salmon and the mackinaw or lake trout. You’ll also be able to catch bass and burbot in the lake, as well as other local species. Ultimately, Lake Chelan is known for its kokanee or landlocked salmon.
Smallmouth bass can be caught at the lower ends of the lake, near Chelan and Manson. It may be difficult to catch a chinook, you’ll have better luck with lake trout or kokanee. A typical catch can range anywhere from 6-10 pounds, but 20-pound catches are not unheard of.
Other species you might encounter in Lake Chelan include:
- Bridgelip sucker
- Largescale sucker
- Pygmy whitefish
- Rainbow trout
- Signal crayfish
- Smallmouth bass
- Three-spine stickleback
- Westslope cutthroat trout
- Northern pikeminnow
When is the best time to go?
Fishing is open year-round in Lake Chelan. However, it’s important to note that your catch will vary depending on the season and the area you’re fishing in.
The best kokanee can be caught from mid-April to June. If you’re after cutthroat trout, the best time to visit is from June to July. Meanwhile, you can catch beautiful lake trout in the lake during late winter to early spring.
What fishing and boating products and services are available in the area?
Lake Chelan has a lot of establishments that cater to fishing enthusiasts and tourists. For example, Chelan Boat Storage and Bob Feil Boats and Motors offer many boat-related services, such as indoor and outdoor storage and rentals.
There are also plenty of docks and boat launches where you can enjoy shoreline fishing. The upper end of the lake is owned by the US Forest Service, so you can also enjoy more quiet areas for shoreline fishing. Local destinations like the Stehekin Valley Ranch also offer guided fishing trips.
If you want to try catching the lake’s bigger fish, there are many places that have boat, canoe, kayak, and rowboat rentals, such as Kelly’s Resort.
What else do I need to prepare before fishing in Lake Chelan?
You can find out more about fishing in Lake Chelan by visiting the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website or by perusing the many guides and pamphlets found in shops around Lake Chelan.
You’ll also need to purchase a fishing license to fish in the lake. You can get a fishing license online or in person at Kelly’s Hardware or in the Chelan Walmart.
What else is there to do in Lake Chelan?
Aside from fishing, there are other fun things to do in the communities surrounding Lake Chelan. There are water parks and resorts that offer waterskiing and SUP boarding activities for the entire family. You can take a walk along nature trails or go on day hikes. Lake Chelan also has an abundance of vineyards and wineries, so you can go on a wine tasting tour and discover local restaurants.
If you want to know more about what the Lake Chelan community has in store for you, work with the top agents in the area today! Our property management experts and agents at Coldwell Banker Chelan will be happy to help you explore the gorgeous properties in Lake Chelan. Get in touch with us at 509.682.7777 or send us an email anytime.