Nearly a half million people across Washington are expected to be fishing April
26 when the state's spring lake fishing season opens.
Although many fishing lakes are open year-round and some seasons started last
month, the last Saturday in April traditionally signals the start of Washington's most
intense fishing activity.
To meet the demand, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
hatcheries are now stocking more than a million catchable-size trout in hundreds of
lakes. At least, that is, where there are no access problems due to snow and rain in
areas hit with a record long, hard winter.
The extended winter in some eastern parts of the state could cut fishing opener
activity. Some anglers might have a difficult time getting to some higher-elevation lakes.
Excessive snowpack melting and flooding could leave waters high, although that could
help some fishing lakes that have suffered from low water in recent years.
Most lakes that open April 26 have fishing seasons continuing through
September or October.
Anglers should check the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, available at fishing
license dealers and WDFW offices, under the "Special Rules" sections for westside and
eastside lakes to determine which waters open April 26. The 1996 edition is valid
through April 30; the 1997 edition will be available by May 1 when it takes effect.
WDFW offices also will soon have free copies of the "Washington Fishing Guide:
Where To Catch Fish in the Evergreen State" with a county-by-county, water-by-water
directory of fishing prospects.