OLYMPIA - Rather spend the day after Thanksgiving fishing for big rainbow trout than shopping for holiday discounts?
Starting Friday, Nov. 29, anglers will find thousands of "holiday specials" during a seasonal Black Friday trout fishing opportunity at eight lakes in western Washington.
To prepare for the post-holiday event, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will plant 2,000 rainbow trout into each of the six southwest Washington lakes. Those rainbow trout average 1¼ pounds apiece.
Spencer Lake in Mason County also will receive 2,000 large rainbow trout, while Leland Lake in Jefferson County will receive 975 trout. The trout that will be planted in those two lakes average about a pound apiece.
"This is a great opportunity to skip the crowded malls and enjoy a fun day out on the water with family and friends catching some beautiful trout," said Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager.
The eight lakes scheduled to receive fish are:
- Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County
- Kress Lake in Cowlitz County
- Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County
- Rowland Lake in Klickitat County
- Leland Lake in Jefferson County
- Spencer Lake in Mason County
The lakes in Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis and Klickitat counties will be closed to fishing Nov. 25-28, when they will be stocked with hefty trout from the Mossyrock and Goldendale fish hatcheries. The lakes in Jefferson and Mason counties will remain open to fishing during fish stocking.
Twenty five other lakes in the Puget Sound area have already been stocked with about 60,000 large rainbow trout. A list of those lakes, most of which were stocked in October, is available at http://1.usa.gov/1gusSdq.
Up-to-date stocking information for lakes throughout the state, is available on the department's weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/.
"We've stocked plenty of trout in several lakes throughout western Washington, so anglers should continue to find good fishing during the holiday season," Donley said.
To participate, anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2014. Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license vendors across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/.
Anglers parking at WDFW water-access sites are required to display on their vehicle the WDFW Vehicle Access Pass that is provided free with every annual fishing license purchased. The passes are transferable between two vehicles. Anglers who use Washington State Parks or Department of Natural Resource areas need a Discover Pass. For more information on the pass, visit http://discoverpass.wa.gov/.
Before heading out, anglers should check fishing regulations, which are available at license vendors and on WDFW's webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.
Donley encourages anglers who go after the big trout on Black Friday to share photos of their catches on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/sharephotos/. Information about the lakes is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/.