By: Bob Johansen
Photos By: Mike Carey
Pierce County’s Lake Kapowsin is a large lake covering 512 surface acres and reaching depths of about 58 feet. Most of the lake however, is quite shallow. The water is quite stained and it is located at 600 feet of elevation.
Fish species include rainbow trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, rock bass, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkin seed sunfish and bullhead catfish.
Prime bass habitat includes just about everything a bass angler could possibly hope for except for private docks and floats. The shoreline is almost all natural vegetation and every inch of shoreline looks "bassy." Casting targets are numerous and include overhanging brush and trees, lots of old logs and wood in the water, some cattails, lots of lily pads, and more stumps than most folks could possibly imagine. There must be at least a "ka-zillion" stumps with about half that many barely under the surface. Needless to say, you won’t be bothered by water skiers, jet skiers, hot rodders and others in similar pursuits of seemingly exiguous value.
Public access is provided by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is a brand new access that just opened to the public on September 1, 2006. Landscaping is now just bare dirt sprayed with grass growing "stuff" due to the extensive contouring of the hill side. There is paved parking for several tow rigs and trailers and another paved parking area for cars and trucks without trailers. An updated pit toilet is provided near the launch ramp. The boat launching ramp is one of the best I have ever seen with just the right slope and is made from solid concrete rather than the more common concrete plank ramps. There is a nice dock to aid in launching and it provides a place to practice casting. I doubt if much angling success comes from fishing from the little dock. I, for one, tip my hat to the Wildlife Department for a job well done.
To get there from Seattle, travel south through Tacoma to the Highway 512 – Puyallup exit. (Exit #127) Exit onto Highway 512 and travel east for 2.2 miles to the Highway #7 exit. Exit onto Highway #7 and travel south for 13.5 miles to the Kapowsin Highway. There is a blinker light here and it is called "Johnson’s Corner." Turn left onto Kapowsin Highway and travel east for 6.2 miles to the WDFW public access on the right. Please don’t litter, vandalize, or test your four wheel driving skills on the new landscaping like some inconsiderate idiots have already done.