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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


April 03, 2002
Contact: Jim Uehara, (360) 902-2738
John Hisata, (360) 902-2797

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A tradition you can count on: Washington lake fishing opens April 27, 2002

A Washington tradition that goes back at least 50 years gets underway once again on April 27.

On that Saturday, thousands of people will fish hundreds of lakes stocked with millions of fish in the statewide opening of lake fishing season.

"It's a tradition you can count on," said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) director Jeff Koenings. "Even during uncertain times, everyone can get outside with family and friends to enjoy an opportunity to catch a fish."

As many as 300,000 people could be out on the 27th at Washington's 4,500 lowland lakes and reservoirs, 256 that open that day. They'll be hoping to land some of the nearly 22 million fish that have been or are being stocked by WDFW hatchery crews, including:

  • 8.2 million trout fry (2- to 3-inch), now catchable size (7- to 9-inch)
  • 9.7 million kokanee fry (2-inch when annually stocked), now catchable size (8- to 10-inch)
  • 3.1 million yearling or catchable size (7- to 9-inch) trout
  • 788,300 warmwater fish species such as walleye and bass
  • 51,500 triploid rainbow trout (1-pound average)
  • 39,670 surplus hatchery broodstock trout (2- to 5-pound)

Some of the fish are stocked in fishing waters that are open year-round or that opened March 1 in eastern Washington. But most of the catchable-size and triploid trout stocking is scheduled just before the last Saturday in April opener, which marks the traditional start of Washington's most intense fishing activity.

WDFW alone maintains more than 500 public water access sites across the state, 275 of them on lowland lakes that open April 27. These sites include boat launches, dock and shoreline fishing, and areas accessible for persons with disabilities. Other state and federal agencies operate hundreds more.

Opening day can be very crowded at many of these sites, especially at boat launches. Koenings urged fishers to be "patient, courteous, and careful," and reminded them to use personal flotation devices for everyone in boats and for children on shore.

Resident anglers 16 years of age and older must have a valid freshwater fishing license, available for $21.90 at hundreds of license dealers across the state, all WDFW offices, over the telephone (1-866-246-9453), or at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ on the Internet. All resident and non-resident children 14 years of age and younger fish free; 15-year-olds fish on a $5.48 license. Licenses are valid from April 1, 2002 through March 31, 2003.

Every fishing license buyer receives a free Vehicle Use Permit, which must be on any motor vehicle parked in a WDFW fishing access parking lot. The permits are transferable between up to two vehicles. Additional permits are available to license buyers for $5 each; non-fishing or hunting users of the areas can purchase the permits for $10.

Copies of WDFW's annual Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet, Hatchery Trout-Stocking Plan and Washington Fishing Guide ("Where To Catch Fish In the Evergreen State") are available on the agency's website and at WDFW offices.

Lakes with public access that have been well-stocked and offer good opening-day fishing opportunities include, by county:

AdamsHalf-Moon Lake (south of Potholes Reservoir)
AsotinHeadgate Pond (juveniles and seniors only; near Asotin Creek)
BentonColumbia Park Lagoon (juveniles and disabled only; in Kennewick)
ChelanFish Lake (16 miles north of Leavenworth), Wapato Lake (8 miles northwest of the town of Chelan)
ClallamSutherland Lake (10 miles southwest of Port Angeles)
ClarkBattle Ground Lake (northwest of Battle Ground), Klineline Pond (north of Hazel Dell)
ColumbiaBeaver Lake, Watson Lake (Tucannon River impoundments)
CowlitzKress Lake (3 miles north of Kalama)
DouglasJameson Lake (8 miles south of Mansfield)
FerryEllen Lake (14 miles north of Inchelium)
FranklinDalton Lake (5 miles northeast of Ice Harbor Dam), Railroad Pond (2 miles northeast of Mesa)
GrantBlue Lake and Park Lake (north of town of Soap Lake)
Grays HarborAberdeen Lake (Aberdeen city park), Failor Lake (9 miles north of Hoquiam)
IslandDeer Lake, Goss Lake (Whidbey Island)
JeffersonAnderson Lake (west of Chimacum)
KingNorth Lake (3 miles west of Auburn), Pine Lake (4 miles north of Issaquah), Steel Lake (west of Auburn)
KitsapWildcat Lake (6 miles northwest of Bremerton)
KittitasFio Rito lakes (4 miles southeast of Ellensburg), Mattoon Lake (Ellensburg)
KlickitatNorthwestern Reservoir (on White Salmon River)
LewisMineral Lake (12 miles north of Morton)
LincolnFishtrap Lake (6.5 miles east of Sprague)
MasonSpencer Lake (7 miles northeast of Shelton), Phillips Lake (near Spencer Lake)
OkanoganAlta Lake (southwest of Pateros), Pearrygin Lake (Methow Wildlife Area), Spectacle Lake (9 miles northwest of Tonasket)
PacificBlack Lake (near Ilwaco), Radar Hill Ponds (4 miles north of Naselle)
Pend OreilleDavis Lake (5 miles south of Usk), Sacheen Lake (11 miles southwest of Newport)
PierceClear Lake (4 miles north of Eatonville), Tanwax Lake (5.5 miles north of Eatonville), Silver Lake (4.5 miles west of Eatonville)
San JuanCascade Lake (Orcas Island)
SkagitErie Lake (4 miles south of Anacortes), McMurray Lake (9 miles northwest of Arlington), Heart Lake (2.5 miles south of Anacortes), Clear Lake
SkamaniaTunnel Lake (along Highway 14 between Drano Lake and Underwood)
SnohomishFlowing Lake (6 miles north of Monroe), Ki Lake (8 miles northwest of Marysville)
SpokaneBadger Lake (12 miles south of Cheney), West Medical Lake (west of town of Medical Lake), Newman Lake (14 miles east of Spokane), Liberty Lake (at town of Liberty Lake)
StevensWaitts Lake (4 miles west of Valley on U.S. Highway 395)
ThurstonMcIntosh Lake (between Rainier and Tenino), Hicks Lake (near Lacey)
Walla WallaBennington Lake (near city of Walla Walla)
WhatcomPadden Lake (in Bellingham), Silver Lake (3 miles north of Maple Falls)
WhitmanRock Lake (1 mile north of Ewan)
YakimaMyron Lake (in Yakima), I-82 ponds No. 4 and No. 6, Rotary Lake (In Yakima along Greenway Trail)