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
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.