Judging from the feedback, the Lopez Lions trophy trout program at Hummel Lake is becoming increasingly popular with Lopez kids. The word is out. Kids as young as four have landed these special rainbows, which can approach 20-inch length and can exceed three pounds. Several larger fish have been caught as well.
Now in its fourth year, the Lions launched the trout enhancement project to provide incentive for youngsters to take advantage of fun outdoor activities easily accessible on Lopez Island. The message: go play outdoors!
These rainbow trout are released annually into the lowland lakes by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) except for one detail. They are triploids. Rainbow trout eggs are shocked with warm water shortly after fertilization, resulting in three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two, rendering the fish sterile and unable to reproduce at adulthood. Unable to reproduce, the extra energy results in rapid growth and body size. Hummel Lake 20-inchers are likely from a release by the Lopez Lions in 2006 in cooperation with WDFW biologists and a non-profit arrangement with the hatchery Troutlodge, Inc, out of Sumner, Wash.
Based on the apparent adaptability of triploids to their Hummel Lake environment, WDFW biologists approved a release for 2008, doubling the numbers released in previous years. This larger release has been made already. At seven years of age, these trout may reach upwards of 12 pounds.
A bit of advice for fishing Hummel Lake: persistence trumps patience here. Until the first fish is hooked, keep changing baits, lures, colors, fishing depths and locations. Change is the key to catching these wily rainbow trout.
The Hummel Lake trout project is an excellent example of how monies generated locally by Lions’ fundraisers are used for local community benefits. Support your local Lions Club. To make comments or suggestions, please phone the Lions Hummel Lake committee at: Roy Moore, 468-2718, or Marty Clark at 468-2406 or Steve Pigott at 468-3781.