Climate Change Effecting Angle Lake?

It was painfully obvious during the 2012 Angle Lake Fishing Derby that the number of fish caught was not only smaller in quantity but there was also a noticeable difference in the size of the fish being brought in for measure as well. As a comparison, last year we had five different people vying for top fish, each one over 18.5” long. This year there were only two competing for top prize with a length of less than 16.5” and the next closest competitor measured in at a mere 15 1/2” – a full inch shorter than the leaders! 

Many in attendance felt that the low catch was probably due to the weather conditions we have been experiencing. Last winter we were struggling with La Nina conditions and the region experienced a miserable, cold, wet spring that lasted into midsummer. This winter we have again been under a La Nina pattern and since early February we have been colder and wetter than normal, with snowpack surging in our mountains. Very few days this spring have equaled or exceeded normal, while a larger number of days have been below normal. So could climate change truly be responsible for the unusually low catch this year? 

Before turning to Al Gore and his group for answers, we felt another option might be to check in with the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Experts to verify the actual number of fish that had been planted in Angle Lake this year. Our research revealed that only two plants have occurred this year instead of the customary four we are used to. With half the regular stock present and reduced number Triploid Trophy Trout available, it is easy logic to map this reason as being justification for the lower than normal catch, perhaps discrediting the idea that our less than favorable weather conditions may be the root cause.

Further follow up with a resource at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Region 4 indicated that another 1,750 fish are still due to be planted in Angle Lake before the month is over (June). Even with this pending additional plant, the numbers are still smaller when compared against previous years. A year over year chart indicating the number of plants per year beginning in 2000 can be viewed HERE. One would hope that these remaining fish will at least all be Triploid Trophy Trout so that we may look forward to a decent fishing experience in early summer with hope a significant improvement over the lack luster results the spring angling had been producing. 

Fished the lake lately? Leave us a comment describing your experience.

1 comment:

Angle Lake Shore Club Blog said...

Per a recent posting on the SeattleTimes web site:

"Angle Lake in King County was planted with 1,750 catchable-sized rainbows on June 11."