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Featured Lake Article

By Bob Johansen – 2005
Photos by Mike Carey - 2005

Mason County’s Lake Nahwatzel covers 269 surface acres and reaches depths of about 25 feet. It is located at 440 feet of elevation about 12 miles west of Shelton. The water is gin clear, spring fed and is one of the cleanest lowland lakes in the state. It is so clean that it is actually used for drinking water by some of the local residents. It almost makes a boater/ fisherman feel that you should wash your boat and wipe the fish formula off your plastic worms before launching.
Fish species in this big lake include lots of rainbow trout and largemouth bass and some pumpkinseed sunfish. Both the rainbow and the largemouth reach very impressive sizes. Trout fishing can be excellent during the early spring and again in the fall as the water begins to cool. Bass fishing is good to excellent from the early spring spawning season in late April through about late October. The lake is open to year around fishing.
Prime bass habitat in this lake includes a long row of old pilings on the northeast corner of the lake, lots of private docks and floats, lots of trees and logs in the water with a fairly fast drop off in the northwest section of the lake and shoreline reeds. Lots of the lake bottom is gravel and provides some good, shallow spawning areas during the early spring.
Public access is provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The access provides a very good, but quite steep concrete plank launch ramp, two of the older round fiberglass pit toilets (2005) and limited but usually adequate parking space. Space is also somewhat limited for positioning your tow rig and trailer at the launch ramp. There is also a resort on Lake Nahwatzel.
To get there from Olympia, travel north on Highway 101 to the Shelton-Matlock exit and travel west for about 10 miles. From Bremerton, travel south on Highway #3 to Shelton and turn right on Railroad Ave. and travel west for about 12 miles.