72,000 Trout Stocked in a Single Western Washington Lake

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning to stock a single reservoir in the western part of the state with 72,000 catchable trout this spring and summer.

Mayfield Lake in Lewis County will be the most-stocked body of water in 2024 when it comes to catchable rainbow trout. The ready-to-catch trout will be planted in batches stretching from April through August, according to my close reading of the agency’s annual stocking plan.

While the reservoir on the Cowlitz River will get the most keeper rainbows, Lake Chelan in north-central Washington actually will be stocked with more keeper trout. In that case, WDFW will stock 82,500 catchable cutthroat trout in June.

Bear in mind that while Lake Chelan is easily one of Washington’s top fishing destinations, those stocked trout will spread out across 33,000 acres. By contrast, Mayfield Lake is a more manageable 2,250 acres.

Several other lakes around the state are stocked with more rainbows than Mayfield Lake, but those are smaller fish that need time to grow.

Mayfield Lake is also closer to home for many Washington anglers. You can get there in an hour from Olympia and in two hours or less from just about anywhere in the Interstate 5 corridor from Seattle south to Vancouver.

Mayfield Lake, a.k.a. Mayfield Reservoir, is open for fishing all year, but trout limits and great weather will be the easiest to come by during and shortly after the stocking season. Nevertheless, this low-elevation lake can be worth plying even on winter days when there’s a break in Western Washington’s notoriously wet season.

If you have a boat, there are several launches available. If not, you can rent a boat or fish from the shore at spots including Mayfield Lake Park, Ike Kinswa State Park, and near the ends of the U.S. 12 bridge crossing.

Stocked trout are eager biters for anglers using a variety of tactics. Bait anglers use nightcrawlers, PowerBait, and other favorite trout tempters on their hooks.

Lure anglers can cast or troll with spinners, spoons, and other lures, while fly fishers can fool their quarry with insect imitations.

We have a full guide to fishing for rainbow trout and other species at Mayfield Lake, which also is one of a few Western Washington lakes planted with tiger muskies and has a pretty decent bass fishery.

While you’re at it, be sure to find the top trout fishing lakes anywhere in Washington and read up on the simple techniques that flat-out catch trout in our angler’s guide.