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

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April 01, 2003
Contact: Jim Uehara, (360) 902-2738
or John Hisata, (360) 902-2797

Want to "Go Play Outside?" Go fish Washington April 26, 2003

With hundreds of state lakes stocked with millions of fish, Washington anglers are set to go fishing starting April 26.

The last Saturday in April is Washington's traditional lake fishing season opener, when many waters across the state are brimming with trout and other fish species waiting to be caught.

"At a time when we're all inclined to stay a little closer to home, anglers here are fortunate to enjoy great fishing right in our backyards," said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Director Jeff Koenings.

Besides its recreational value, sport fishing puts money into Washington's local communities, Koenings noted.

Washington ranks eighth nationally in spending by sport fishers, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey results released last fall. Sport fishers spent $854 million here in 2001 on fishing trip expenses and goods from fishing line to boats.

On opening day, as many as 300,000 residents could be out at Washington's 4,500 lakes and reservoirs. They'll be hoping to land some of the nearly 23 million fish stocked by WDFW hatchery crews, including:

  • 7.7 million trout, now catchable size at 7 to 9 inches long, planted as fry in 387 lowland lakes last spring and fall.
  • 12 million kokanee fry stocked two years ago in 37 lakes, and now catchable size (8 to 10 inches).
  • 2.6 million yearling or catchable size (7- to 9-inch) trout in 364 waters.
  • 323,446 warmwater species fry such as walleye and bass, stock two years ago in 20 waters.
  • 49,268 triploid rainbow trout averaging1.5 pounds apiece in 78 lakes.
  • 28,274 surplus hatchery broodstock trout (1.5 to 5 pounds each) in 69 lakes.

Some of the fish are stocked in waters that are open year-round or that opened March 1 in eastern Washington. But most of the catchable-size and triploid trout stocking is scheduled just before the April opener, which marks the traditional start of Washington's most intense fishing activity.

WDFW maintains more than 600 public water access sites across the state, 275 of them on lowland lakes that open April 26. These sites include boat launches, dock and shoreline fishing, and areas accessible for persons with disabilities. Other state and federal agencies operate hundreds more fishing waters.

Opening day can be very crowded at many of these sites, especially at boat launches. WDFW fish managers urged anglers to be patient, courteous, and careful, and to use personal flotation devices for everyone in boats and for children on shore.

Resident anglers 16 years of age and older must have a valid freshwater fishing license, available for $21.90 at hundreds of license dealers across the state, all WDFW offices, over the telephone (1-866-246-9453), or at http://www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ on the Internet. All resident and non-resident children 14 years of age and younger fish free; 15-year-olds fish on a $5.48 license. Licenses are valid from April 1, 2003 through March 31, 2004.

Every fishing license buyer receives a free vehicle use permit, which must be displayed on any motor vehicle parked in a WDFW fishing access parking lot. The permits are transferable between two vehicles. Additional permits are available to license buyers for $5 each; others who use the access areas can purchase the permits for $10.

Copies of WDFW's annual Sport Fishing Rules Pamphlet, Hatchery Trout-Stocking Plan and Washington Fishing Guide ("Where To Catch Fish In the Evergreen State") and the 2003 triploid trout program plan are available on the agency's website and at WDFW offices.

The following list of lakes, by county, have public access, have been stocked and offer good opening-day fishing opportunities:

Adams Half-Moon Lake (south of Potholes Reservoir)
Asotin Headgate Pond (juveniles and seniors only; near Asotin Creek)
Benton Columbia Park Lagoon (juveniles and disabled only; in Kennewick)
Chelan Fish Lake (16 miles north of Leavenworth), Wapato Lake (8 miles northwest of the town of Chelan)
Clallam Sutherland Lake (10 miles southwest of Port Angeles
Clark Battle Ground Lake (northwest of Battle Ground), Klineline Pond (north of Hazel Dell)
Columbia Beaver Lake, Watson Lake (Tucannon River impoundments)
Cowlitz Kress Lake (3 miles north of Kalama
Douglas Jameson Lake (8 miles south of Mansfield)
Ferry Ellen Lake (14 miles north of Inchelium
Franklin Dalton Lake (5 miles northeast of Ice Harbor Dam), Railroad Pond (2 miles northeast of Mesa)
Grant Blue Lake and Park Lake (north of town of Soap Lake)
Grays Harbor Aberdeen Lake (Aberdeen city park), Failor Lake (9 miles north of Hoquiam)
Island Deer Lake, Goss Lake (Whidbey Island)
Jefferson Anderson Lake (west of Chimacum)
King North Lake (3 miles west of Auburn), Pine Lake (4 miles north of Issaquah), Steel Lake (west of Auburn)
Kitsap Wildcat Lake (6 miles northwest of Bremerton)
Kittitas Fio Rito lakes (4 miles southeast of Ellensburg), Mattoon Lake (Ellensburg)
Klickitat Northwestern Reservoir (on White Salmon River)
Lewis Mineral Lake (12 miles north of Morton)
Lincoln Fishtrap Lake (6.5 miles east of Sprague)
Mason Spencer Lake (7 miles northeast of Shelton), Phillips Lake (near Spencer Lake)
Okanogan Alta Lake (southwest of Pateros), Pearrygin Lake (Methow Wildlife Area), Spectacle Lake (9 miles northwest of Tonasket)
Pacific Black Lake (near Ilwaco), Radar Hill Ponds (4 miles north of Naselle)
Pend Oreille Davis Lake (5 miles south of Usk), Sacheen Lake (11 miles southwest of Newport)
Pierce Clear Lake (4 miles north of Eatonville), Tanwax Lake (5.5 miles north of Eatonville), Silver Lake (4.5 miles west of Eatonville)
San Juan Cascade Lake (Orcas Island)
Skagit Erie Lake (4 miles south of Anacortes), McMurray Lake (9 miles northwest of Arlington), Heart Lake (2.5 miles south of Anacortes), Clear Lake
Skamania Tunnel Lake (along Highway 14 between Drano Lake and Underwood)
Snohomish Flowing Lake (6 miles north of Monroe), Ki Lake (8 miles northwest of Marysville)
Spokane Badger Lake (12 miles south of Cheney), West Medical Lake (west of town of Medical Lake), Newman Lake (14 miles east of Spokane), Liberty Lake (at town of Liberty Lake)
Stevens Waitts Lake (4 miles west of Valley on U.S. Highway 395)
Thurston McIntosh Lake (between Rainier and Tenino), Hicks Lake (near Lacey)
Walla Walla Bennington Lake (near city of Walla Walla)
Whatcom Padden Lake (in Bellingham), Silver Lake (3 miles north of Maple Falls)
Whitman Rock Lake (1 mile north of Ewan)
Yakima Myron Lake (in Yakima), I-82 ponds No. 4 and No. 6, Rotary Lake (In Yakima along Greenway Trail)