Just in case you missed the news in WDFW’s most recent Weekender, trout are being stocked in Jameson Lake for this Saturday’s opener.
Water conditions at the Douglas County lake, a popular water that has long attracted anglers from hundreds of miles, have been good enough this spring for the agency to plant somewhere around 18,000 8- to 11-inch rainbows this week.
“The clarity was much, much better,” says Bob Jateff, the state biologist who manages the lake. “That’s how we came to the conclusion to stock it.”
Jameson has suffered from “algae” blooms in recent years, including one in 2005 that resulted in a large fishkill. Last April, word didn’t come out until just days before the opener that fish had been planted.
“Last year at this time, it was very, very brown,” says Jateff. “It didn’t have an encouraging look to it at all.”
He says that this go-around oxygen and water temperature tests were also good.
And several trout swimming around in a small netpen at the lake “did quite well for the four or five days they were in there,” Jateff adds.
Over 135,000 fry were released last fall for the fishery, but the biologist isn’t quite sure how well they overwintered, though there have been reports of jumpers this month and last, which would indicate that some made it through.
We wrote about Jameson and its troubles in our April issue. The cyanobacteria blooms are primarily fueled by phosphorous in the lake as well as runoff from local cattle operations. Without a flush or other solution, the blooms will likely continue.
Last year’s opening-day catch was on the order of 1/2 a fish a rod, but this Saturday should be better thanks to a warm March, says Jateff.
“I’m expecting fish activity to be better,” he says.
Jack’s Resort co-owner Ginger Merritt (509-683-1095) had hoped triploids would be stocked, but Jameson wasn’t on the list of lakes the Fish & Wildlife Commission signed off on.
EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS UPDATES A PREVIOUS VERSION OF THIS STORY WITH QUOTES AND INFORMATION FROM JATEFF