Ross Lake Now Open for Fishing

Ross Lake is formed by Ross Dam, part of Seattle City Light’s Skagit Hydroelectric Project.

The return of summer opens new opportunities for exploring the rugged and beautiful North Cascades, including Ross Lake, which is now open for fishing.

The North Cascades are a popular destination for fishing, wildlife viewing and outdoor recreation. They are also home to three hydroelectric dams supplying green renewable energy to the city of Seattle and Seattle City Light. Ross Lake is City Light’s largest hydroelectric reservoir and is a popular trout fishing destination. Home to native rainbow trout and federally protected bull trout, Ross Lake also contains cutthroat and eastern brook trout. Seattle City Light is committed to environmental stewardship and supports public land along the Skagit River.

Overnight accommodations near Ross Lake are available and include developed campgrounds within the North Cascades National Park complex and the floating Ross Lake Resort. There is a public boat launch at the north end of the lake accessible through British Colombia and several boat-access on the east shore and south end.

According to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (, September and October are the best times to catch Rainbow trout and July and August offer “fair” prospects. Anglers are permitted to keep three fish per day excluding the protected native char. Fishing licenses are required and can be obtained through onsite at Ross Lake Resort.