High Lake washout...

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Roper, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. During a four day visit to the Okanogan I headed for one of my favorite high lakes in search of brookies and cutties. Past visits have been hit and miss, I was hoping for a hit. The Okanogan is still verdant from heavier than normal snowfall and steady spring rains. The lake was no exception. You have to walk in from the road about a hundred yards or so.


    Once I reached the shoreline I saw the lake was overflowing from it's normal levels. Those who have fished this lake with me can see the difference.


    I slid the FatCat into the lake and started with a halfback pattern from Ivan. Nada. Next was a marabou leech pattern, nada. Then a bugger, nada. What else could I do, a chironomid, still nothing. Not even a bump. My trusty Fishin' Buddy showed me the depth and something that may be a clue to no bites...


    Hundreds of little blips on the screen. All over the lake, everywhere and no exceptions. Sure, there were spots that showed fewer blips, but still more than should be normal. Tucked in the tiny blips were larger ones indicating that the hold overs were tucked in amongst the tiny plants. I've seen these "storms" of tiny blips before in other lakes and the bite is always off when I see them. I'll be quizzing Bob Jateff on the lake to see just what they dumped in there and how many. I'll wait until the fall and see what it looks like then.

    The area is still pretty so I loaded up my gear, got out of my waders and grabbed the camera. Here's some of the flora since the fishing was a bust.



  2. Roper makes the best damn lemonade on the planet. That is some great photography sir, sorry the fishing was off.
  3. I love that lake. Roper spotted a bear on the hillside a few trips back.

    Love those Mariposa lillies, and the scarlet gilia.

    Too bad you didn't connect. I can't keep the big ones on in that lake....

    Hope you and the girls had a good trip.
  4. Thanks Scott, I knew you would ID those flowers...;) I took the photos just for you.
  5. Interesting.... Nice Photos. Aeneas has gotten pretty slow. Surface temp at 70 deg.
  6. Big Twin has also slowed up a lot in the last week! Fortunately, the Methow above the Chewuch is looking clear, and I'm thinking it will be fishing in a week or so! I always look forward to getting back on moving water this time of year! Also, some of the higher lakes in our area are probably worth a try. Rick
  7. That lake winter killed this year as the aerator broke down.... they just recently replanted with fingerlings (triploid brookies I believe). Its sad... my first fish on that lake three years ago was a 22" tiger and I remember late spring evenings when the bigger fish would be all over chiros in the shallow water... I hope it comes back.
  8. Too bad on the winter kill. I hope it comes back too. I couldn't get the big fish to the neat last year, and I had my chances.
  9. Bob said there are 1,000 triploid brookies in there, 3-6 inches. I did notice the aerator pad was missing...

    I wonder what the survival rate will be for the trips...?
  10. I love that lake as well. I noticed two years ago that the wind mill that powered the aerator was missing. Is there plans to put it back or are they using a different method?
  11. this is a question for the guys who understand these things better than i do: if the lake requires an aerator to maintain a livable oxygen level, and there was a kill cause it's broken down, and roper's comment made it sound like it's still not there/functioning, and if i'm not mistaken brookies require perhaps more dissolved oxygen than most other species....why restock it again without the aerator back in order?
  12. My presumption is there are plans to get it up and running again.... the fish will not survive without it running. I was told that it was not checked during the winter months and at some point it broke down and nobody discovered it until it was too late and the fish all died... Whatever happened, its clear they need to get it working again or this will just repeat itself again.
  13. Well, I can give you a Forester's perspective.

    Winter kill is dependent on the winter we have. Even on that lake it is NOT an annual thing.

    Cost of stocking fry is cheap. If the lake does not freeze out next winter you will have a good fishery until the next freeze.

    I remember a decision making class with probabilities attached, costs and rates of return. Same thing. But I suspect Bob did not do such an in-depth analysis.
  14. maybe i've misunderstood what the aerator is for in the first place. looks like i know even less than i thought i did.
  15. Just got back from Okanogan County. I was told by folks at Wannacut that they had four feet of snow on the ground last winter. Every lake we fished was as high as I have ever seen. A couple of them were disappointing and a couple were off the hook good. Nice really warm weather except for a couple of days that featured high winds. All in all a really good trip.
  16. I didn't see the windmill or the platform that sits atop the lake. Most years the ducks like to nest on it...silly ducks. I'll quiz Bob and see what the plans are for the aerator. I did notice some larger "blips" on the Fishin' Buddy in amongst the little guys. Some holdover may have occurred. The winter was heavy with snow and I had some interesting frost heave around the house. That's life in the OK.
  17. I'm glad no one has mentioned the name of this lake. I have never even fished it but have been to it and hope to fish it some day.

  18. Well, it is to prevent winter kill, but it does not occur every year. That four feet of snow mentioned at Wannacut had a LOT to do with the winter kill. Most years winter kill is not an issue. So if it winter kills one year in ten or even one year in five it still makes sense to stock and manage it and just roll the dice.

    There were long stretches of time when that lake did not winter kill. Those large snow years are fairly rare at that elevation.

    On lakes with a very high percentage of winter kill the Department tends to stock larger planters assuming that the fishery will not carry over through next year.

    Unlike the physical sciences, the biological sciences have much more variability to outcome of events. AND since we know very little about how ecological systems function it further limits the ability to always be right on the money.

    I believe the statement at my Forestry school was "the ART and SCIENCE of Forestry". The ART part was to cover your butt when you were winging it!! It did not mean the Landscape Architecture classes!!
  19. Roper I hope you will let us know what Bob has to say. I am interested in the health of this lake and the return of excellent fishing.
  20. Unless they put some catchable stock in there you might as well start thinking that good fishing should return for the 2016 season. One of my favorite zipper lips lakes had nothing but dinks in it during the summer of 2010. I left it alone during '11 and fished it again towards the end of last season. The fish were healthy 14-15'' deep bodied rainbows. This spring I returned to find cookie cutter 16"+ fish in prime shape. Certainly a long wait but make good notes and get back when the fishing is great again.


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