The Lake Chelan Valley has been known for its world-class fishing since the first settlers arrived in the late 1800’s. Each year, stocking programs release 100,000 Cutthroat and 500,000 Kokanee (landlocked Salmon) fingerlings into Lake Chelan.
The Lake Chelan fishing season is open year round, but you must check with the Department of Fish and Wildlife pamphlet for license requirements and limits, available at area sporting or hardware stores. Fish the lake on your own or hire one of Lake Chelan’s fishing guide services.
The largest species of fish found in Lake Chelan are Chinook (King) Salmon and Lake Trout (Mackinaw). A typical catch ranges from 6 to 10 pounds, but it is not unusual to hook a 20 pounder.
More Fishing Hot Spots
Wapato Lake: Located 10 miles from Chelan in Manson, this local favorite is stocked with Rainbow Trout, Large Mouth Bass, Bluegill and Crappie.
Antilon Lake: Just up the road from Wapato Lake, great catches of German Brown Trout and Crappie keep anglers returning every year.
Roses Lake: Located 10 miles from Chelan, in Manson, this sought-after lake has Rainbow Trout, Bass and Catfish. It is a popular spot for ice fishing in the winter.
Alta Lake: Located 20 miles from Chelan, this lake is home to Rainbow Trout, Large Mouth Bass and Bluegill.
Chelan River: The Chelan River can be easily accessed at Riverwalk Park in Historic Downtown Chelan. This a great place for even the youngest anglers to fish right off the paved path.
Stehekin River: At the head of 50.5-mile Lake Chelan the Stehekin River offers some of the best fly-fishing in the Northwest. Catch & Release Season opens March 1st in the lower river, but bait is prohibited. Only a single, barbless hook is allowed. Regular Season is July 1st through October 31st for Native Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout. Check current regulations – only artificial bait is allowed.
Columbia River: Three miles from Chelan, down the scenic Chelan Falls Road (Hwy 150), the Columbia River is a favorite for Rainbows, Sturgeon, Walleye, Catfish, King Salmon and Steelhead.