Friday, July 9, 2010

Fishing in Yakima Valley Ponds

How do we get to those ponds along I-82 east between Union Gap and Zillah? This question is frequently asked and the answer is, not easily.
I-82 ponds have multiple points of access but several are complicated to find. In some cases, visitors must drive through private property to access state land. Some areas are reached by driving through culverts under the interstate, or hiking from parking areas and walking through culverts under the interstate. Detailed maps of these access points have not been developed. These seven gravel pit ponds located between Union Gap and Zillah along interstate 82 are open year around. Access to all ponds except Buena(Pond 6) is by Walk-in. A county ordinance prohibits boats with gasoline-powered motors. Open to fishing all year, but access to these ponds is subject to seasonal closure.

Pond 1&2
Ponds 1&2 support largemouth bass, yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish, Expect good fishing for small pan-sized perch and sunfish. Both Ponds 1 & 2 are closed to walleye fishing;
Latitude: 46.48773815 Longitude: 120.4212563
Driving Directions:I-82 (east of Yakima) take Parker Exit. Follow Yakima Valley Highway, Left on Mellis Road to stop sign, Left to parking lot, follow trail to tube under freeway. Walk through culvert to ponds #1 & #2 on north side of I-82.

Pond #3
Pond 3, has fair fishing for pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth and yellow perch.
Latitude: 46.46965063 Longitude: 120.3958997 Driving Directions:I-82 (east of Yakima) take Exit 44, Wapato-Donald Exit, Right then Left at first driveway (double-wide mobile home) Parking area is in southeast quadrant from freeway cloverleaf and Walk approx. 1/2 mile along freeway right of way. Walk through culvert to north side of freeway and Pond #3

Ponds #4 & 5
Moving east, Ponds 4&5 are stocked with rainbow and brown trout, with browns to 16 inches caught occasionally. Fishing is fair for crappie and bass.
Latitude: N/A Longitude: N/A Driving Directions:I-82 (east of Yakima) take Exit 44, Left .5 miles to Yakima Valley Highway, Right 3.4 miles to Flint Lane, Right on Flint Lane. to a large culvert under the freeway. Drive through, turn left, and drive to parking area for Ponds #4 & #5. Public restroom at this site.

Pond #6
Buena, or Pond 6, should have good early-season fishing for stocked rainbow trout.
Latitude: 46.4221488 Longitude: 120.3210483 Driving Directions:I-82 eastbound exit #50 turn left at stop sign. Drive .5 mi. to Buena Lp. Rd. Turn left go .3 mi. Access area and facilities left side of the road.

Pond #7
East of Buena, has a fair population of largemouth bass.
Latitude: N/A
Longitude: N/A Driving Directions: From I-82, take exit 52. Head south and take first right into parking lot. This site has a public toilet and crude boat launch. All sites are open daylight hours only

* excerpted from Washington Department of fish and wildlife

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