Fishing at Lake Crescent

Fishing at Lake Crescent


According to WatersWest.com, Lake Crescent is the most unique lake in the Olympic Peninsula area. Fish over twenty inches are not uncommon and there is a healthy population of mid-size fish as well. Lake Crescent is a large, deep lake that is crystal clear with incredible visibility. There is some dry fly action here at times, mainly just fishing a larger pattern blindly in the chop. The fish are very opportunistic and will cruise in search of anything edible. Streamer patterns like Deceivers, scuplins, and black leeches work well.

Lake Crescent is known for its one-of-kind Beardsley Trout, identified by its unusual head that takes up 1/3 of its body. Fishing regulations, see below, are strictly 'catch and release' in hopes of bringing back the native Beardsley and Crescenti trout populations.

Fishing Regulations:

Olympic National Park recently announced an emergency change to fishing regulations on Lake Crescent. Park Superintendent announced that Lake Crescent and all its tributaries will be open for catch and release angling only. This rule change prohibits the use of down riggers, and requires that anglers use only artificial lures with single barbless hooks and no more than two ounces of weight.

The new rules are designed to protect Lake Crescent’s population of Beardslee rainbow trout, which has declined to a critically low level. Beardslee trout are a unique form of rainbow trout, native to Lake Crescent, and found nowhere else on earth. They spawn in late winter and early spring in only one small area of the Lyre River, near the outlet of the lake. Independent spawning surveys on the Lyre this past spring and found alarming evidence of very low numbers of spawning fish, indicating that the population has experienced a severe decline. This evidence was supported by counts made by Park Service crews that officially counted only 35 spawning redds, the lowest number since official redd counts were begun in 1989.

NOTE: Lake Crescent Lodge does not offer fishing equipment, but guests are encouraged to bring their own rod, reel, and wading gear, as Lake Crescent is renowned for its fly-fishing.

To learn more about fishing at Lake Crescent, visit Lip Rippers Fishing blog.