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


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July 29, 1997
Contact: Tim Waters, (425) 775-1311, ext. 119

Volunteers to plant thousands of trout in alpine lakes

YAKIMA -- Volunteers on foot and horseback will take to the Cascade Mountains in coming months to help state fisheries officials plant tens of thousands of trout in alpine lakes, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) reported today.

An estimated 36,000 trout will be planted in 63 alpine lakes in Yakima and Kittitas counties, according to fisheries biologist Keith Wolf. The volunteers will be outfitted with specially-equipped backpacks and saddlebags filled with the young fish.

"The public is very heavily involved with the planning, and actual planting, of fish in these magnificent wilderness lakes," Wolf said. "This is one of the most extraordinary and scenic ways to enjoy trout fishing in Washington state."

For decades, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has planted a variety of trout species in dozens of alpine, or high, lakes in both eastern and western Washington.

Some of the lakes are planted every two or three years, while others may be stocked only once every decade. Still others are left unplanted for environmental and scientific purposes.

East of the Cascades, a lake that lies above 3,500 feet in elevation is considered a high lake. West of the Cascades, a lake above 2,500 feet in elevation is classified a high lake.

Wolf said it will take about three months to plant the rainbow, golden and cutthroat trout. Most of the fish should be big enough to catch by late next year or early spring, 1999.

Wolf added that many of the volunteers who will be assisting fisheries biologists belong to various outdoor organizations, including the Backcountry Horsemen, Washington State Hi-Lakers and Trail Blazers, Inc.

"Without help from these groups and others, the department would be extremely hard-pressed to carry out this popular and highly cost-effective program," Wolf said.

People are urged to pick up a copy of the pamphlet Trout Fishing in Washington's High Lakes before embarking on a fishing trip to the high lakes. The WDFW pamphlet can be obtained at agency offices statewide. It is also available on the WDFW home page at http://wdfw.wa.gov.

Anglers also should obtain a current copy of the agency's fishing regulations pamphlet.