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

April 10, 1997
Contact: Madonna Luers, 509-456-4073

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Spring lake fishing season opens April 26

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.