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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

This document is provided for archival purposes only.
Archived documents do not reflect current WDFW regulations or policy and may contain factual inaccuracies.

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May 29, 1998
Contact: Jim Byrd (360) 586-3104

Free fishing weekend offers fun and dinner

The June 6-7 weekend offers a great opportunity to try a fun, family-oriented activity at little cost and maybe catch supper as well.

That opportunity is Free Fishing Weekend when no license is needed to fish or gather shellfish in Washington. And, for the novice, volunteers will be present at several "hotspot" fishing lakes to provide information and assistance in the quest for that big trout or bass.

"This a great opportunity for moms and dads to introduce the kids to a new sport while, hopefully, enjoying a picnic in the sun," said Bern Shanks, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. "We also know that children introduced to fishing at a young age tend to enjoy this wholesome and challenging sport for the rest of their lives."

Shanks said trout have been planted in many state lakes to improve anglers' chances on Free Fishing Weekend.

While no licenses are required for fishing, Shanks noted that other rules, such as sizes and bag limits, remain in effect. Anglers cannot fish in closed waters during Free Fishing Weekend. Anglers must have the appropriate license and catch record card if fishing for steelhead. Free catch record cards are required for salmon, sturgeon and halibut. The cards are available at WDFW offices and license dealers.

Detailed rules are contained in the 1998 Fishing In Washington regulation pamphlet. It is available at most WDFW license dealers was well as department offices.

Here's a regional breakdown of "hotspot" lakes as well as telephone numbers anglers can call for additional information:

Eastern Washington (509) 456-4082:

  • Rainbow Lake (Columbia County)--Good bank fishing; extra planted trout; kids' fishing activities
  • West Evans Pond (Clarkston)--Planted with trout, kids' fishing activities
  • West Medical Lake (near town of Medical Lake)--Good bank fishing; extra trout planted
  • Rainbow Lake (Columbia County)--Good bank fishing; extra planted trout; kids' fishing activities
  • Blue and Park Lakes (Grant County): Good public access and resorts; excellent trout fishing
  • Potholes Reservoir (Moses Lake): Plenty of boat and bank fishing plus resorts and park camping; good fishing for trout, bass and walleye
  • Rock Island Ponds (Douglas County): Excellent bank fishing for trout, bass and bluegill
South-central Washington (509-575-2740):
  • Clear Lake (Yakima County): Excellent bank access and fishing for trout
  • Columbia Park Family Fishing Pond (Kennewick): Adults may fish only when accompanied by a fishing child; good fishing for trout, bass and other species
  • Fio Rito lakes (Ellensburg): Good bank fishing for rainbow and brown trout
  • Railroad Pond (Franklin County): Good fishing for trout, steelhead, sunfish and catfish
  • Rotary Lake (Yakima): Fishing for rainbow and brown trout; bass also are present
North Puget Sound (425-775-1311):
  • Ballinger Lake (King/Snohomish counties): Fishing pier and other amenities in a park with good stocks of trout, perch and bass
  • Gissberg ponds (Snohomish County): Good bank fishing for trout, bass, bluegill and other species
  • Green Lake (Seattle): Good bank access and piers with fishing for trout, bass, perch and catfish
  • Silver Lake (Everett): Good bank fishing in a park for trout, bass and perch
  • Steel Lake (Auburn): Bank and boat fishing in a park; good stocks of trout, bass and perch
Southwest Washington (360-696-6211):
  • Sacajawea Lake (Longview): Bank and platform fishing for bass, perch, sunfish as well as rainbow and brown trout
  • Klineline Pond (Vancouver): Excellent bank fishing for trout and other species
  • Rowland lakes (Bingen): Good shore access for trout, bass and bluegill fishing
South Puget Sound (360-249-4628):
  • Capitol Lake (Olympia): Good bank fishing for trout
  • Sylvia Lake (Montesano): Lots of amenities in this park with fishing for trout, cutthroat and bass
  • Kitsap Lake (Bremerton): Good public access fishing for trout, bass, bluegill and catfish