The Washington State Wildlife Commission has closed Spirit Lake to fishing consistent with the Monument’s Fish and Wildlife Plan. The Forest Service and the state recognize the importance of Spirit Lake and its surroundings as a unique natural laboratory for research. This will allow future generations to witness the natural recovery process unimpeded by human activity. There are many other lakes in the monument that are open to fishing and other recreation including Coldwater Lake which is accessible via road and is equipped with a dock and boat launch (electric motor only).
The Monument’s Fish and Wildlife Plan guides the management of fish and wildlife by the Forest Service and the Washington Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife within the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument. Even though the Monument Act specifically allows opportunities for recreational fishing, it was determined that a handful of lakes within the blast zone (including Spirit Lake) would be set aside for scientific research and would not be stocked with fish. “These recommendations recognize the value of managing for a recreational fishery on some lakes, while allowing others to remain undisturbed so that natural recovery processes may continue unimpeded with the option for research studies (Page 41, Monument Fish and Wildlife Plan, 1989).”