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

ARCHIVED NEWS RELEASE
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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October 10, 2014
Contact: Chris Donley, 509-892-1001, ext. 307

WDFW to release torrent of trout;
nearly four times more fish stocked this fall

OLYMPIA - With some 340,000 trout scheduled for stocking in western Washington lakes, area anglers should have an excellent chance at phenomenal fishing this fall and through the holiday season.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will stock 47 western Washington lakes with catchable-size trout. That includes 19 lakes where the catch limit will be increased to 10 trout beginning Oct. 18.

"Our fish stocking plans entail releasing nearly four times more fish than were released last fall in western Washington," said Chris Donley, WDFW's inland fish program manager. "Fishing at dozens of lakes throughout the region should be great over the next few months."

Lakes stocked as of Oct. 1 include Island, Lost, Nahwatzel, and Spencer Lake in Mason County, Kitsap Lake in Kitsap County, Rattlesnake Lake in King County, and Gibbs, Leland and Teal Lakes in Jefferson County. Additional stocking efforts will focus on different regions and counties in western Washington and will continue through October and November.

A list of lakes to be stocked, those lakes offering the bonus bag limit, and the department's recently updated stocking plan is available for viewing at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/fall-into-fishing/.

WDFW has a higher number of fish to stock into lakes this fall because of a legal settlement last spring that prevented releasing early winter hatchery steelhead into most Puget Sound rivers in 2014.

More than 300,000 of those steelhead, an ocean going form of rainbow trout, will instead be released into western Washington lakes in the coming weeks.

"We realized these fish presented a unique opportunity for Washington's anglers," said Donley. The department held the steelhead over the summer and reared them to "catchable trout size" to be released into lakes in the Puget Sound area for harvest this fall.

Donley said he expects angling to be great throughout the fall and winter months at all of these lakes. "Most of the trout are 11 to 13 inches long, with a few larger ones in the mix," he said.

The fall fish plants are in response to anglers' requests to increase fall and winter trout fishing opportunities in western Washington, said Donley. That effort also includes stocking lakes in southwest Washington for the Nov. 28 Black Friday opener, which offers anglers the opportunity to skip the shopping malls, get outside, and enjoy fishing on the day after Thanksgiving.

For those fishing closer to the Puget Sound area, thousands of trout are available in lakes that can be pursued throughout fall and winter, said Donley. "We encourage anglers young and old, inexperienced or well-seasoned, to get out and take advantage of these great fisheries," he added.

For up-to-date stocking information this fall, anglers should follow the department on Twitter or Facebook, accessible from http://wdfw.wa.gov, or see the department's weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/.

Anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2015, to participate in these events.

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 the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/.