Wind, Sand and Trout: Boyd Marts’ High Desert Golden Age

When Boyd Marts’ father landed a job at Boeing in 1959, the engineer gathered his Oklahoma-based brood and high-tailed it for Washington state. Thus began a golden age for 11-year-old Marts and his two brothers, Bill, 14 and Bobby, age six. 

A decade earlier, O’Sullivan Dam had been completed on Crab Creek in central Washington, causing the formation of a multitude of seep lakes in the scablands and deserts of the region. In the late 1960s, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife began stocking Donaldson “super trout” (a rainbow/steelhead/cutthroat hybrid named after a University of Washington fisheries professor) in a connected chain of lakes—namely Lenice, Nunnally and Merry—north of Yakima. In the lengthening shadows of thriving Russian olive along the shorelines, the planted trout gorged themselves on a plethora of aquatic life… 

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