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


June 02, 1997
Contact: Chuck Bolland, (360) 902-2255

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Free fishing offered this weekend

OLYMPIA -- The state's fishing spots are open free this Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8. All regular fishing rules and limits apply, but for those two days a fishing license is not needed.

One exception is an $18 steelhead license and a catch record card which are required for steelhead fishing. Free catch record cards also are required to fish for salmon, sturgeon, and halibut.

"Free Fishing Weekend is an opportunity for hundreds of people to once again try fishing," said Bern Shanks, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. "Many begin fishing when they're young, only to give it up as adults. This is an excellent time to introduce your children to fishing or try it again yourself."

The weekend is expected to provide many good fishing opportunities. Several lakes, called "hotspots," have received special plants of hatchery fish for this weekend. Some locations will have skilled anglers on hand to help those with less experience.

Editor: Attached is a list of "hotspot lakes" and special events planned for Free Fishing Weekend, prepared by Jim Byrd, Angling Education Coordinator (360) 902-2809.

1997 Free Fishing Weekend "hotspots" and activities

EASTERN WASHINGTON
Rainbow Lake, in Columbia County two miles south of Wooten Wildlife Area, on Tucannon Road. Good fishing for planted rainbow trout. The U.S. Forest Service, Pomeroy Ranger District, will host a derby here June 7. There will be casting contests, largest and smallest fish prizes, a litter pick-up bounty, plus free hot dogs and drinks. Area stores have registration forms, or register at the lake. For more information, call Megan Hines at the Pomeroy Ranger District, (509) 843-4690.

Planted rainbow trout should provide good action. The U.S. Forest Service, Newport Ranger District, will host a kids' fishing clinic from 8 a.m. to noon June 7. There will be tackle and other goodies for the kids, plus basic fishing instruction and casting practice. For more information, call Mike Herrin at the Newport Ranger District, (509) 447-7300.

West Evans Pond, in Asotin County just west of Clarkston, along Highway 12. Good bank- fishing access, with planted rainbow trout. The U.S. Forest Service, Pomeroy Ranger District, will host a derby here June 8. Derby will be similar to that described above for Rainbow Lake.

West Medical Lake, near the town of Medical Lake. Bank-fishing access on the west shore, and a resort with boat launch. Excellent fishing for rainbow trout.

COLUMBIA BASIN AREA
Beehive Reservoir, in Chelan County seven miles southwest of Wenatchee. Stocked with catchable-size rainbow trout. Beehive also has some fair-sized rainbow carry-overs, plus eastern brook trout.

Bonaparte Lake, in Okanogan County about 18 miles northeast of Tonasket. The lake features kokanee, rainbow, lake trout and eastern brook trout. The U.S. Forest Service, Tonasket Ranger District, will host a derby from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7, at their universally-accessible fishing pier in the Bonaparte Lake campground. There will be T-shirts and goodie bags for kids (age 14 and under), plus prizes in two age categories for first fish, biggest fish and smallest fish. For more information, call Nancy Wells at the Tonasket Ranger District, (509) 486-5107.

Lake Chelan, at Chelan Riverwalk Park in downtown Chelan. The U.S. Forest Service (Wenatchee National Forest, Chelan Ranger District) and Lake Chelan Sportsman's Association will co-host a kids' fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7, The clinic will include basic fishing techniques for beginners, casting practice, angling safety and catch-and-release tips. Fishing is for planted rainbow trout and smallmouth bass. For more information, call Rick Acosta at the Chelan Ranger District, (509) 682-2576 or Phil Archibald at the Entiat Ranger District, (509) 784-1511.

Rock Island Ponds, in Douglas County, along Highway 28 in the town of Rock Island. Excellent bank access with a rough city boat launch; internal combustion engines are not allowed. Planted with catchable-size rainbow trout, the ponds also contain largemouth bass, bluegill and other warmwater game fish.

SOUTH CENTRAL WASHINGTON
Rotary Lake, located near Yakima, with walk-in access along the Greenway Trail. Rainbow, eastern brook and brown trout are stocked, and largemouth bass are available.

Fio Rito lakes, south of Ellensburg on I-82 at the Thrall exit. Excellent bank access surrounds these popular ponds. Rainbow and brown trout are stocked, with a special rainbow plant just before Free Fishing Weekend. Some sunfish and brown bullhead catfish are also caught. Small boats can be launched, but internal combustion engines are not allowed.

Clear Lake, in Yakima County along Highway 12, west of Rimrock Lake. Excellent bank access, boat launch, fishing docks and campgrounds. Fishing is for stocked rainbow trout, with a few eastern brook and bull trout also present. Please remember that all bull trout must be released.

NORTH PUGET SOUND AREA
Gissberg Ponds, in Snohomish County five miles north of Marysville (in Gissberg County Park). These two small ponds offer excellent bank access, with fishing for planted rainbow trout, plus largemouth bass, bluegill and other warmwater species.

Meridian Lake, about two miles east of Kent, between Kent and SR-18. A state access area and county park on the southeast shore provide shoreline access, a boat ramp and an excellent fishing pier in the county park. Recent plants should provide good fishing for rainbow trout. Largemouth bass, yellow perch and brown bullhead catfish are also available.

Pine Lake, four miles north of Issaquah. A county park on the east shore offers shore access, parking, toilet, picnic and play areas, a narrow boat ramp, and a large fishing pier. Recently- stocked rainbow trout should provide good fishing. Largemouth bass and pumpkinseed sunfish are also available.

Lake Washington, south end of the lake at Gene Coulon Park. Renton Parks Department and Washington BASS Federation will co-host a kids' fishing derby, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7. Fishing will be for net-pen rainbow trout, with hourly trophies awarded. A Bassmaster Casting Kids competition will be held in conjunction with the derby.

SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON
Sacajawea Lake, in the heart of Longview. Excellent bank access, trails and fishing platforms surround the lake, with good fishing for perch, sunfish, largemouth bass, and stocked brown and rainbow trout. Longview Parks Department and Cowlitz Game and Anglers will be available to help inexperienced anglers from 8 a.m to noon June 7, in the Martin's Dock area. For more information, call Steve Plampin, Longview Parks and Recreation, (360) 577-3345.

Klineline Pond, next to I-5 just north of Vancouver. Excellent bank access, with good fishing for largemouth bass, bluegill, brown bullhead catfish, plus stocked rainbow and brown trout.

Lewis River Power Canal, in Skamania County below Swift dam. Good bank access, with fishing for planted rainbow trout. The U.S. Forest Service, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Southwest Washington Anglers, Fish First, and Camas Moose Lodge will host a kids' fishing derby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 8. Included will be environmental education activities, plus plenty of fishing opportunities. For more information, call Deborah Haapala at Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, (360) 750-3900, ext. 3969.

Rowland Lakes, in Klickitat County on Highway 14, near the town of Lyle. Good bank access, with a boat ramp on North Rowland. Stocked with rainbow and eastern brook trout, with a few broodstock rainbows tossed in for spice. Bass, bluegill, crappie and brown bullhead catfish are caught too.

Scanewa Lake, in Lewis County near the town of Randle. The U.S. Forest Service, Randle Ranger District will host a kids' fishing derby from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. June 7. The event will be held at the Lewis County PUD day use park, and will feature a casting contest, button making, fishing derby, and T-shirt fish printing (bring your own T-shirt). For more information, call Jack Thorne at Randle Ranger District, (360) 497-1100.

Trout Lake, in Klickitat County just north of the town of Trout Lake. The U.S. Forest Service, Wind River and Mount. Adams ranger districts, together with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wal-Mart, local businesses and Girl Scouts will host a kids' fishing derby from 9 a.m. to noon June 7. The event will be at Trout Lake County Park, and will include environmental education, fish education, a casting contest, and fishing for rainbow trout. Contact Cliff Bennett at Mount Adams Ranger District, (509) 395-3400 ext. 3352.

COASTAL WASHINGTON
Griffiths-Priday State Park, in Grays Harbor County at Copalis Beach. On June 8, a WDFW shellfish biologist will lead a family beach walk to discover and identify sandy beach habitat and life, and to learn beach etiquette. The walk starts at 9 a.m., low tide is minus 1.2 at 9:19 a.m. Call Alan Rammer, WDFW, at 360/586-6129 (Olympia area) or 360/249-4628 (Grays Harbor area) for more information.

Sylvia Lake, one mile north of Montesano in Lake Sylvia State Park. Excellent shore access, with concessions and picnic areas nearby. Sylvia provides good fishing for planted rainbow trout, with a few cutthroat also taken.

SOUTH PUGET SOUND AREA
Kitsap Lake, just west of Bremerton. Good public access along the west shoreline, with a boat launch available. Good fishing for rainbow trout and largemouth bass, with some bluegill, other sunfish and brown bullhead catfish also caught.

Saltwater State Park, two miles south of Des Moines. On June 7, a WDFW shellfish biologist will lead a family beach walk to discover and identify tidepool habitat and life, and to learn beach etiquette. The walk will leave the parking lot at 12:30 p.m.; low tide is minus 1.7 at 1:26 p.m. Call Alan Rammer, WDFW, at 360/586-6129 (Olympia area) or 360/249-4628 (Grays Harbor area) for more information.

Spencer Lake, in Mason County seven miles northeast of Shelton, just off Highway 3. Fishing here usually holds up well all summer for rainbow trout. Largemouth bass are also caught during the summer months.