Kokanee salmon – Wikipedia
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The kokanee salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), also known as the kokanee trout, little redfish, silver trout, kikanning, Kennerly’s salmon, Kennerly’s trout, or Walla, is the non- anadromous form of the sockeye salmon (meaning that they do not migrate to the sea, instead of living out their entire lives in freshwater).
Kokanee has become one of our most popular fisheries in the Pacific Northwest
Kokanee are the land-locked form of sockeye salmon. Because they never migrate out to the ocean to feed, kokanee are often much smaller than sockeye. However, other than their size, kokanee have very similar identifying characteristics as sockeye.
Kokanee Salmon: What You Need to Know
Kokanee Salmon came from the ocean around 15,000 years ago when there were more lakes and rivers over the America. As the rivers retreated and the lakes separated from some streams, there were sockeye salmon that were not able to get back to the ocean.
They adapted to their new environment over time, and soon, there was no urge or need to head back to the ocean to spawn. The Kokanee Salmon changed from their original species so much that even today Kokanee Salmon cannot reproduce with Sockeye Salmon.
Kokanee salmon, like other types of salmon, mature around the age of 3 to 5 years of age. During this time they do not attempt to get to the ocean. Most of the species does not have a way back to the ocean, but the species as a whole has changed to not have that drive.
Method for fishing for Kokanee:
They do not usually stay close to shore, so the best way is to have a boat or know someone that does or hire a guide.
Trolling at a slow speed and finding the fish on the Fishfinder using downriggers or weights to get your tackle down to the fish.
Kokanee bite because of smells. It is pretty simple. If it smells irritating, which can mean a few different things, then the Kokanee will bite out at it, trying to kill it and get it away from themselves.
The best baits that work well are corn, maggots, shrimp, and salmon eggs. If they are pink, then the Kokanee will be more likely to bite it. The corn is used not because it smells bad, but because it can keep in substances that smell strongly very well.
There are a few things that the Kokanee Salmon hate the most, and those things are pinks, zigzag-ing lures, and stinky bait
Lures: There are tons of lures on the market and usually what will catch trout will catch Kokanee
Dodgers: A dodger is an attractor that is attached to the line above the lures 8 to 10 inch and is made to make the lure move around and to attract the fish’s attention. Small dodger 4 to 6 inches are preferred. Like Lures there are a ton of different kinds, sizes and colors. Lots of Kokanee fishermen have dozens of dodgers and that is what our products are made for, to keep those spendy little dodgers in good shape when not in use during storage and transport You can find them on LureSafe.com and in some retail Tackle and sporting good stores.
Best Lakes to fish for Kokanee in Washington
1. Lake Roosevelt
Lake Roosevelt, Washington State’s largest lake, stretches some 151 miles and covers over 77,000 acres. The lake is an impoundment of the Columbia River starting at the Grand Coulee Dam in remote north central Washington and crosses the border into Canada
2. Conconully Lake
This overlooked gem has not been on most kokanee angler’s radar, especially those looking for fish with a bit more heft to them. This 292 acre lake sits in a narrow, picturesque canyon and has started producing whopper sized kokanee in recent years.
3. Lake Chelan
Expansive mountain views, cold clear water and 33,000 acres spanning 50 miles into rugged wilderness makes up Lake Chelan. This lake is more than just a picture perfect landscape, it’s kokanee heaven.
4. Lake Merwin
The lowest in a trio of reservoirs on the Lewis River in southwest Washington, Lake Merwin has long been known as a top destination for kokanee. Lined by dense forests of fir, this remote reservoir is as beautiful as the fishing is good.
5. American Lake
This 1,100 acre lake has some of the best fishing in the South Sound. American Lake draws a fair number of anglers every season to its productive waters for slab kokanee.
6. Lake Stevens
Just to the east of Everett sits the woefully under fished Lake Stevens. At 1,100 acres, it offers an excellent fishery for both cold and warm water fish but the quality kokanee fishing is starting to be recognized by the masses.
Here are other Washington State lakes with excellent fishing for kokanee that average 10 to 12 inches in size:
Yale Reservoir (Cowlitz County)
Angle Lake (King County)
Lake Meridian (King County)
Lake Cushman (Mason County)
Mason Lake (Mason County)
Clear Lake (Pierce County)
Summit Lake (Thurston County)
Ward Lake (Thurston County)
Lake Whatcom (Whatcom County)
Lake Samish (Whatcom County)
Deep Lake (Stevens County)
Loon Lake (Stevens County)
Alta Lake (Okanogan County)
Patterson Lake (Okanogan County)
Sullivan Lake (Pend Oreille County)
Chapman Lake (Spokane County)
Rimrock Lake (Yakima County)
For more information on maps and lodging and boat ramps check out www.washingtonhometown.com
For tackle Storage check
For local fishing information in Okanogan County contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or call and text 509-449-0605
For fishing tackle, google Mauk Fishing Stuff in Brewster WA please call for hours and information before coming to the store at 1408 Sunset Drive Brewster, WA 98812, We carry bait, tackle and check our showroom for tackle sleeves and covers to keep your tackle untangled and problem-free during storage and transport