Lake Erie

One of the two top-four Skagit lakes on Fidalgo Island, Erie has, in its history, served up some beautiful specimens rainbow (four to five pounds) grown from fingerling size in its rich, albeit shallow, confines.

However, predation by cormorants and competition from an illegally introduced perch population have put an end to that fish management regime. The main angler take is now hatchery-reared fish on the opener, but they still uphold Erie’s reputation for fine opening day catches. Get here early and, with the crowds, plan to still-fish for a while.

Season: Last Saturday in April to Oct. 31.

Angler amenities: Lake Erie Resort operates at the lake’s southeast shore providing fishing tackle, ice and fee access to the shore, but alas no more boats.

Surface area: 111 acres.

Stocking for 2008: 10,000 catchable rainbows.

In the catch: Rainbow trout, illegally introduced perch.

Special rules: Season only, statewide size and bag limits apply.

Boat launch: WDFW – graveled on Rosario Road with shallow drop-off but will accommodate small trailered boats. Limited maneuvering room.

Getting there: Drive west on Highway 20 from I–5 at Burlington through Sharp’s Corner. Take Lake Campbell Road west from Highway 20 about two miles. Very limited off-road parking, with much spill-over onto adjacent county road.