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

April 22, 1998
Contact: Madonna Luers, (509) 456-4073

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140,000 rainbow trout released in Moses Lake, Potholes Reservoir

MOSES LAKE -- The rainbow trout populations in the two largest waterways in Washington's Columbia Basin were boosted by 140,000, just in time for the weekend's trout fishing opener.

Moses Lake, 6,800-acres of water off Interstate 90 at the town of Moses Lake, last week received 60,000 10 to 11-inch rainbow trout from four net pen rearing operations.

Potholes Reservoir, just south of Moses Lake, this week received 80,000 eight to ten-inch rainbow trout from four net pens. Last year Potholes, which offers 23,000 acres of fishing, received its first net pen release of 60,000 rainbows. They are now in the 17-inch range.

Both fishing spots are open year-round, but the traditional last-Saturday-in-April trout opener still draws crowds.

The trout releases are a cooperative effort of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Central Washington Fish Advisory Council, Moses Lake's Cascade Marina and Potholes Reservoir's Mardon Resort.

Rod Meseberg, advisory council member and Mardon Resort owner, explained that WDFW provides access to grant money through the Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (funded by state leases on tidelands). The council and businesses provide volunteers to build and maintain net pens and feed fish.

"This kind of cooperation is more important now than ever," Meseberg said, referring to WDFW budget cutbacks.