By: Bob Johansen - 2006
Photos by: Mike Carey
Thurston County’s Black Lake is quite large with 576 surface acres. It has a maximum depth of about 40 feet (depending on the time of year) and is located at 127 feet of elevation. The water is quite stained.
Fish species include rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, landlocked Chinook, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, yellow perch, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkin seed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish. Most of the species can (and do) reach some impressive sizes.
Black Lake is open to year around fishing. State wide rules apply for all species except crappie. There is a 9 inch minimum size and a 10 fish limit for crappie. All bass between 12 and 17 inches must be released and only one fish over 17 inches can legally be kept.
Prime bass habitat includes lots of pad fields, reeds, cattails, some overhanging brush and trees, old logs and wood in the water, old pilings and stumps and lots of private docks and floats. Bass fishing can be very tough on much of the shoreline during late summer and fall due to excessive weed growth. Weeds and slime are so bad that it is nearly impossible to run boat motors through them. The deeper drop offs, however, are quite fishable year around. Summer time also brings out a lot of water skiers and hot rodders, especially during sunny weekends.
Public access is provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The large access area has lots of parking space for tow rigs and trailers, two of the older type pit toilets and two good concrete plank launching ramps.
To get there from the Seattle area, travel south on I-5 just past Olympia to the Black Lake-Trosper Road exit. (Exit # 102). Exit right onto Black Lake-Trosper Road for 2.8 miles to Black Lake-Belmore Road. Turn left (south) for 1.0 mile to 66th Ave. S.W. Turn right onto 66th Ave S.W. for .7 mile to the WDFW public access on the right. Note: Some road construction was in progress there in late August 2006, the last time Mike and I fished there and Trosper Road required a short detour.