Several miles east of Everett, serpentine Lake Roesiger is about 350 acres’ worth of diverse fish habitat.
A concrete boat ramp and a Snohomish County park with ample shoreline access lend Lake Roesiger some quality amenities for anglers.
The lake is stocked yearly with juvenile kokanee and rainbow trout. These salmonids can grow to maturity in their natural habitat, which typically makes for better eating.
Lake Roesiger also has the typical bevy of resident warmwater fish, including largemouth bass, yellow perch and black crappie.
Not every lake or pond in the greater Seattle area has opportunities for kokanee, a landlocked variant of sockeye salmon.
Kokanee are quite a bit smaller than oceangoing salmon, but they can still put up a spirited fight.
Try using flashers or dodgers while trolling small lures to rile them up.
In most lakes, kokanee top out around 2 pounds, with 1 pound or less being more typical.
Kokanee in Lake Roesiger are said to reproduce naturally, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife also typically stocks a modest number of these land-locked salmon to supplement the fishing.
Kokanee at Lake Roesiger are planted as fry or fingerlings, so their size will vary depending on how long they’ve been in the lake.
The kokanee stocking plans for Lake Roesiger have varied considerably in recent years, with different stocking seasons and numbers ranging from less than 20,000 to more than 40,000 per year.
In general, the best time to fish for kokanee is late spring into summer, as the plankton on which they feed are plentiful and these salmon are looking for a meal. Early fall can also offer decent prospects.
Kokanee will typically run deep during the hotter months, and Roesiger has depths of more than 100 feet, with the best deepwater prospects in the northern part of the lake.
More information: Kokanee Fishing: Simple Tips and Techniques
Rainbow trout crop up in Lake Roesiger a few different ways.
The most recent stocking schedule called for a modest 3,000 rainbow trout of “catchable” size to be planted in Lake Roesiger in April to kick off spring fishing.
But in the fall, the lake may get many more trout, 13,000 at last check, but the WDFW designates these smaller juvenile fish as “put, grow and take.”
The idea is younger fish are planted with the expectation the survivors will grow in their natural lake habitat and be of catchable size by the time the following spring season gets going.
In some past years, trout fry and fingerlings have been planted as well.
Freshly stocked hatchery rainbow trout are widely regarded as a good game fish for amateur anglers, because they’re not exceptionally bright, aren’t terribly picky, and are usually pretty easy to catch with very basic techniques.
The key is being in the right place at the right time.
Still-fishing with a baited hook (earthworms work well) is a tried-and-true method that doesn’t require much finesse.
A colorful bobber can help attract trout if they are feeding near the surface, and makes it easy for anglers to detect a bite.
Trout that have been living the wild life for a little while longer can be a bit savvier. Still-fishing can work, but many anglers prefer trolling lures or bait behind their boat, or fly fishing or casting lures for trout.
Trout prospects on Lake Roesiger are best from March to May and again from September to October.
In between, during the dog days of summer, trout may move into deeper waters found mainly in the northern part of the lake.
Trout dislike warm summer weather and will spend most of their time in deeper, colder waters in the summer, when they feed less and are more difficult to snare.
For more suggestions on catching these fish, read our simple guide, Trout Fishing: Basic How-To Techniques and Tips.
Bass and Panfish Fishing
There’s the stocked fish, and then there’s the sunfish.
Lake Roesiger supports ample populations of yellow perch and black crappie. These fish are often smaller than trout and kokanee, but they make up for it in quantity.
Schools of black crappie typically start moving and feeding more in schools in the spring, when they also spend part of the time in shallower water to spawn, which is when they are easiest to catch.
Schools of yellow perch are more active year-round.
April, May and June are good months to fish for crappie and perch at Lake Roesiger. Prospects for the perch remain good through October.
Lake Roesiger also has resident largemouth bass.
Bass also move into shallower water in the spring, when they are aggressive toward lures and other intruders that dare to get near their nests.
After that, bass fishing also can be great in the summer, particularly in the early mornings and close to sunset.
Bass tend to hide out more during the heat and brightness of mid-day during the hottest months of the year.
There are a variety of specialized bass lures popular with sport anglers.
While largemouth bass are edible, many bass anglers prefer to catch and release, so jigs and other lures are a much better idea for bass fishing than baited hooks.
These big-mouthed fish have a tendency to swallow natural baits whole, often resulting in fatal injuries from hooks in their gills or other vital organs.
Fishing for bass on Lake Roesiger is typically peaking from May through September.
Note that Lake Roesiger Park is designated for day use only, opening to the public at 7 a.m. and closing at dusk, which isn’t ideal for bass but does leave a short window for fishing in the morning before the sun is too high in the sky.
Other fish you might catch include bluegill and bullhead catfish.
Bass, crappie and bluegill in particular, are very structure-oriented. There are lots of docks, overhanging trees and other fish-holding places at Roesiger.
The narrow center and southern lobe of the lake are shallower and worth exploring for bass and panfish.
Where is Lake Roesiger?
Lake Roesiger is about a 30-minute drive east of Everett.
Take U.S. Highway 2 to the interchange with State Route 9, then get on Bunk Foss Road and head northeast. You’ll turn right from northbound Machias Road onto Dubuque Road, which will take you east to Lake Roesiger Road.
Lake Roesiger Park on the eastern shore has restrooms and picnic areas, as well as on-site parking. Camping isn’t allowed, and the park doesn’t open until 7 a.m., so plan accordingly.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has a concrete boat launch on the south shore of the lake. Limited parking is available at the boat launch area.
The park includes a swimming beach, so be alert for swimmers and other lake users.