Photo by Jessie Stensland / South Whidbey Record
                                Jack Baars pulls himself up on a float at Deer Lake after taking a swim earlier this month. He said the water was perfect.

Photo by Jessie Stensland / South Whidbey Record Jack Baars pulls himself up on a float at Deer Lake after taking a swim earlier this month. He said the water was perfect.

State plans to build new dock, boat launch at Deer Lake

A state project at Deer Lake should someday make it easier for people to get their boats in the water.

State Fish and Wildlife was awarded a $404,000 grant from the state Boating Facilities program. The money will be used to redevelop the public access to the lake, which is a mile west of Clinton.

The deteriorated concrete boat ramp at the small access area will be replaced with a new pre-cast concrete boat launch, according to the project application.

An L-shaped boat dock will be built next to the boat launch.

Also, the gravel entry road will be paved as will adjacent areas above the launch. An ADA parking spot will be added.

Estimated completion for the project is the end of 2022. The state will need to get five permits for the project.

On a recent Monday afternoon, several boats were on the lake, including one pulling a water skier. Both adults and children were swimming and splashing in the water, even though it was a gray day.

In the spring, fishing is the main draw.

Trout fishing on the 82-acre lake, managed by South Whidbey Park and Recreation District, is considered “good to very good,” according to Fish and Wildlife. The department stocks the lake with rainbow trout each spring. On April 9 of this year, 6,507 trout were released in the lake. A week later, 1,438 more were added.

Deer Lake is one of only two “waters” in Island County managed with a seasonal fishing closure.

Trout season begins in mid-April and ends on Halloween.

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