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Lone Lake changeover quiet

"Larry Dolgoff caught a 17-inch trout at Lone Lake on Sunday that he would have had to throw back on Monday.I think it stinks, said Dolgaff, a big man who launched his small boat into the lake at about 10 a.m. Monday. That's the day Lone Lake became a trophy lake, with the daily limit one trout at least 18 inches in length.Dolgaff has been fishing the lake for 20 years. And while he doesn't mind changes, he said a limit of two or three fish would be more reasonable, as would a somewhat smaller size.Eighteen inches is bigger than some salmon, he laughed. But hope springs eternal, so he switched on his electric motor, took a puff from his stogie and set out into the lake. Dangling from his line was the little green flatfish that hooked the 17-incher on Sunday.Dolgaff was the only person fishing the quiet lake at that particular time. He said weekend action was slow, but he saw a few large fish such as the one he caught landed. The Department of Fish & Wildlife planted over 800 triploid trout in the lake. Specially designed to be infertile and large, the triploids will provide some legal lunkers even with the 18-inch limit now in effect.Watching from shore was Paul Rectenwald. He wasn't pleased that the new regulations also preclude using natural bait in the lake. Only artificial lures and flies are allowed. I'd like it to be a place for kids, and that means worms, he said. I don't like it to be so exclusive.The new rules are in effect at least for this year -- they're already printed up in the new fishing pamphlet that hit the stores last week. And maybe some day anglers' attitudes will change if Lone Lake is teeming with huge trophy trout.Lone Lake is open year-round, but South Whidbey's two other public fishing lakes opened for the 2000 season on Saturday.At Goss Lake at 8 a.m., Barbara Voshall of Freeland had already caught four of her five-fish limit by casting out from shore. I got here at daybreak and they were jumping pretty good, she said. I have lots of fun fishing. Her fish were good-sized, in the 12-to 14-inch range. Like the few other shore fishermen, she was using PowerBait capped with a marshmallow on the same hook. It works, she said.Anglers checked by the Department of Fish & Wildlife at Goss Lake averaged 2.4 trout apiece.At Deer Lake, Tom Harris has been a fixture at the public dock for two decades on opening day. But on Saturday he wasn't happy. Last year by 9 a.m. he had limited out; this year he had a single fish to show for his hours of effort. Nobody else on the dock was doing well, either.I got here at 5:30 and haven't even had a bite, except for the one fish, Harris said. He noticed that people in boats were doing better.Roger Waterman and a group of friends had already loaded their boats back onto their trucks and were headed for Teddy's where Mike Donohue, the loser of their annual fishing derby, would have to buy breakfast. It's getting expensive, he lamented, having lost four years in a row. The last one to limit buys breakfast.Waterman's boat of three anglers won the friendly derby by limiting in 29 minutes, 33 seconds. Russell Link, a Department of Fish & Wildlife urban biologist, recorded catches at Deer Lake from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. He said the anglers catching their limits were doing best by trolling Dick Knight lures. He saw nothing but rainbows, all in the 8- to 12-inch range. He had yet to see any larger holdovers from last year brought to the surface.There weren't nearly as many fishermen and women as there were 10 years ago when the parking lots at Lone, Deer and Goss lakes would fill the night before and trucks and trailers would litter adjoining roadways.There's fewer and fewer fishing people; fewer adults are teaching their kids how to fish, Harris said.But the lack of pressure also means there are plenty of fish left in all the lakes, and Harris wasn't going to write off the season because of one poor outing. I'll be back, he said. I've got weeks."

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