Heart Lake

Possessed of a homier feeling than its nearby neighbor, smaller Heart is boat-for-boat and angler-for-angler just as crowded, but no less rewarding than larger Erie Lake. There is more shore access here and its shore side fishers do almost as well as those in stationary boats. Don’t be surprised if a few tiny bluegill nibble at your bait, their presence prompted the ending of young rainbow fry plants.

Season: Last Saturday in April to Oct. 31.

Angler amenities: Excellent shore fishing access at park ramp. Anglers often sit along the county road on the lake’s east shore or pioneer into park woods surrounding lake.

Surface area: 61 acres.

Stocking for 2008: 10,000 legal rainbows, fry plants have been stopped.

In the catch: Rainbow trout, illegally introduced bluegill.

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

Boat launch: State parks and recreation – concrete pad ramp with shallow drop off. Will accommodate up to small, trailered craft.

Getting there: Take Heart Lake Road north from Lake Erie Road or drive south from 11th Avenue in Anacortes. Some off-road parking, with spill-over onto county road.