These are the Most-Stocked Trout Lakes in Washington State

Sharing is caring!

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to stock nearly 15 million trout and kokanee salmon of all sizes in more than 500 lakes and other waters this year.

While those plantings are spread across across the state, some spots are obviously stocked more than others.

For this report, we combed through the WDFW’s recently released 2024 Statewide Trout and Kokanee Stocking Plan; the plan encompasses most trout and kokanee releases, except it does not include baby trout released into high-mountain lakes or young anadromous salmon and steelhead released into rivers and expected to migrate to sea.

That all said, here’s a quick look at some of the most heavily planted waterways in Washington.

Rainbow Trout

Most overall rainbows

Lake Roosevelt, a massive reservoir on the Columbia River stretching from the Grand Coulee Dam clear to the Canadian border, is scheduled to be stocked with an incredible 750,000 triploid rainbow trout.

Triploid rainbows are hatchery produced to have an extra set of chromosomes, which renders them infertile and may contribute to faster growth. The Roosevelt triploids are smaller than catchable trout but are placed in pens and then released into the reservoir, growing to impressive sizes that anglers love.

Most catchable rainbows

If you’re counting just catchable rainbow trout, look no further than Mayfield Lake, a reservoir on the Cowlitz River in Lewis County, a quick drive from the state capital of Olympia, a bit farther from Vancouver to the south and closer to two hours heading south from Seattle.

Most baby rainbows

Banks Lake, a massive reservoir south of Grand Coulee Dam, is stocked with about 330,000 rainbow trout in the fingerling/fry size class.

Cutthroat Trout

Westslope Cutthroat Trout

WDFW plans to stock 82,500 westslope cutthroat trout into Lake Chelan to complement its famous fisheries for kokanee, lake trout and other species. Westslope cutthroats, which are native to the inland area from the Cascades east to the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, also are stocked in many other areas in that range.

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout

This species is most heavily stocked in Grant County’s Lake Lenore, with more than 71,000 fingerlings or fry. A few other Eastern Washington lakes are stocked with Lahontans, which are adapted to survival in highly alkaline waters.

Coastal Cutthroat Trout

This species is native and found in wild populations across much of Western Washington. Some go to the ocean and return while others spend their entire lives in freshwater.

Hatchery-raised coastal cutthroat trout are also stocked in moderate numbers in a fair number of westside lakes stretching from Vancouver to Bellingham, including the Seattle-Tacoma area.

Other Trout Species

Hatchery-produced brown, brook, triploid brook, and tiger trout are also stocked in numerous locations around Washington, although typically in lower numbers than rainbows and cutthroats.

Kokanee Salmon

Kokanee, a landlocked sockeye salmon, are widely stocked as fry, fingerlings or occasionally the larger “put, grow and take” size.

The most heavily stocked kokanee lake is Lake Whatcom in northwestern Washington, which is due to receive 4.2 million tiny kokanee this year.

Several Washington waterways, including Lake Chelan, have excellent self-sustaining populations of kokanee, which spawn in tributary streams.


WDFW source data: 2024 Statewide Trout and Kokanee Stocking Plan

Find a great trout fishing spot: Best Trout Fishing Lakes and Rivers in Washington

Find a great kokanee fishing spot: Best Kokanee Fishing Lakes in Washington