Okanogan County produces big rainbows on opener

— Okanogan County lakes booted out a bunch of fish up to 18 inches long on the opening day of fishing Saturday.

Jorge Jimenez caught a lunker out of a Conconully Lake, winning the annual Chamber of Commerce fish derby.

Jimenez won with a three-pound, eight-ounce fish brought to the Conconully General Store, 201 No. Main St.

Tegan Watson (1 pound, 14 ounces) edged two other anglers with fish of an ounce less for the youth title.

The Conconully chamber will be planting tagged trout some time in May that can be brought to the store for $25, Don Welke at the store said.

State statistics provided, which normally are available by Monday morning, were not released until Tuesday morning, Regional Fish Program Manager Jeff Korth said.

“(There was a) glitch in understanding this year,” Korth said.

Although anglers caught lots of rainbows, including jumbos that reached up to 18 inches, no kokanee trout were caught in the Conconully lakes.

“I’m working on locating anglers in the area that may have caught some,” said state Fish and Wildlife’s Linda Oules, who did a fish survey. “Last year they were fantastic looking fish.”

Conconully Fish Derby

Adult – 1, Jorge Jimenez, 3 pounds, 8 ounces. 2, Curt Lacy, 2 pounds, 7 ounces. 3, Rentall Moore, 2 pounds, 3 ounces.

Youth – 1, Tegan Watson, 1 pound, 14 ounces. 2, Janelle Jensen, 1 pound, 13 ounces. 3, Ashley Ross, 1 pound, 13 ounces.

State fish survey

Okanogan County

Alta – 99 anglers checked, 214 kept fish, 11 released, 2.1 fish/angler kept. Yearling rainbow 10-12 inches. Largest was 17 inches. Kokanee 11-13 inches.

Pearrygin – 36, 107, 52 released, 2.9 fish/angler kept. Yearling rainbow 10-12 inches; largest 18 inches.

Conconully Lake – 59, 201, 32 released, 3.4 fish/angler kept. Yearling rainbow 9-11 inches; largest 16 inches. No kokanee.

Conconully Reservoir – 36, 109, 29 released, 3.0 fish/angler kept. Yearling rainbow 9-11 inches; largest 18 inches. No kokanee.

Fish – 49, 90, 0 released, 1.8 fish/angler kept. Yearling 10-11 inches; largest 15 inches.

Ferry County

Lake Ellen – 12, 50, 7 released, 4.2 fish/angler kept. Largest rainbow: 4.5 inches. Good fishing despite tough weather conditions (rain and hail). Average fish was 11 inches.

Douglas County

Jameson Lake – 62, 134, 6 released, 2.2 fish/angler kept. Rainbows ranged 10-18 inches with an average of 13.3 inches. Bite slowed by 10 a.m. Anglers were very happy.

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