Whonnock Lake, Maple Ridge
By Rodney Hsu
This swamp-like lake is inhabited by two species, rainbow trout and black crappie. It is a great lake for those who enjoy fishing with light tackle. Fishing can be good from early spring to late fall, making this an ideal destination for a day trip with your boat if overnight trips are not possible.
How to Get There?
Whonnock Lake is in Maple Ridge, more specifically in the community of Whonnock. From Vancouver, it takes approximately 45 minutes by car. Access to Whonnock Lake Park is done from 113th Avenue. From either Lougheed Highway or Dewdney Trunk Road, find 272nd street. From 272nd street, turn onto and travel west on 112nd Avenue, which leads you to 276th Street and 113th Avenue.
The fishing season at Whonnock Lake is from early spring to late fall. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC stocks this lake in spring and fall with catchable rainbow trout, which have an average weight of 200 to 300 grams. Beside rainbow trout, black crappie can also be found in this lake from spring to fall. Trout fishing is best in spring and fall when water temperature remains low, while summer is best for black crappie fishing.
Fishing from shore is possible at Whonnock Lake, but it is best done from a boat. Please note that you cannot use a gas or electric motor at this lake, so rowing is your only option. A small boat, a pontoon boat or a float tube can lead you to most spots around the lake quite easily.
The lake can get quite weedy in the shallow areas, especially in the summer months. These areas can be good for black crappie fishing. Overall, it is not a deep lake, so small and light presentations work best. If you are fishing with a spinning outfit, try using a float to suspend your bait or jig. krill, dew worm, deli shrimp and salmon eggs will all work well for rainbow trout. You can also use a small spinner or spoon (weighing 1/8oz or less) for. For black crappie, try using a small jig under a float. Dew worm can also be very productive.
If you are fly fishing, try choosing an outfit that is as light as possible. A 3wt can be very enjoyable as these fish are not very big. Try using a small leech pattern, halfback or chironomid for both species. For black crappie, try using an indicator to keep your fly suspended at one spot.
Before your first fishing trip to Whonnock Lake, please make sure you know the following information:
- You must have a valid British Columbia freshwater fishing license.
- Whonnock Lake is located in Region 2 in the British Columbia freshwater fishing regulations.
- You can check Region 2's trout stocking database to see when stocking takes place.
- Please note the opening hours of the park. The gate usually opens at 8:00am and closes at dusk.
- Whonnock Lake is located in Whonnock Lake Park and it is also used by other recreational groups and event goers. Please respect other users and local residents.