Lake fishing for trout is Washington’s most popular kind of angling. With more than 7,000 lakes statewide, there are likely one or more fishing spots close to home. WDFW stocks lakes with millions of hatchery-reared trout each year, so chances of coming home with fish are good. Check fish stocking plans (also known as "fish plants") on the WDFW website before heading out. The majority of fish stocked by WDFW are rainbow trout, but many lakes also contain other species such as cutthroat trout, brown trout, bass, burbot and perch. The lowland lake fishing season traditionally opens on the last Saturday in April, although many lakes in the state are open year-round. For information on daily catch limits and other fishing regulations, see WDFW’s Fishing in Washington rules pamphlet.
WDFW maintains more than 700 public water-access sites, including 325 specifically designed to provide public access to lake fishing. Many sites have boat launches, bank-fishing areas and other public facilities. Washington State Parks and local park systems also maintain hundreds of other fishing access on lakes and ponds around the state. Access to bank fishing is limited on many lakes, so a boat may be necessary to get to where the fish are biting.