Lahontan cutthroat trout survey starts soon at Lake Lenore

Lake Lenore - Soap Lake, WA (Grant County)

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

EPHRATA– Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff will conduct a survey of the Lahontan cutthroat trout population in Grant County’s Lake Lenore during the week of March 28 to April 1.

Fisheries biologists will set 24 trap nets at various locations along the shoreline to catch the trout in order to estimate abundance and collect biological information such as length, weight, and sex. This survey is the first of its kind on Lake Lenore and is being conducted to establish long-term trend data that will help guide management efforts and encourage increased angler participation in this fishery. 

Trap nets have a long (100-foot by 6-foot) lead line that acts as a wall. Actively migrating fish species, like Lahontan cutthroat trout in this case, encounter the lead and follow it into the live holding area of the trap. The live trout are removed, placed in a live well, and processed. The fish are measured, weighed and then released unharmed.

Each net trap will be clearly marked with buoys to ensure anglers do not entangle fishing lines in the nets. This survey is not expected to interfere with regular fishing or recreation activity at the lake.

Lake Lenore is known for its very alkaline waters that only Lahontan cutthroat trout have adapted to be able to survive in.  The Lahontan is one of three subspecies of cutthroat trout in Washington. Unlike the two other subspecies, Westslope and coastal, Lahontan are not native to Washington. They are the largest of the cutthroat subspecies, have dark olive backs with reddish to yellowish sides and medium to large dark spots all over the body. The average Lahontan cutthroat trout is 16-to-18 inches long, but Lake Lenore is known for the size of its trout; many of the fish are at least 20 inches long and trout exceeding 30 inches have been caught there as well.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

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