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  More to do Outside!

Photos: Winter hikers in snow; fisherman with winter steelhead; two elk resting in snowy forest
Region One: Eastern Washington Region Two: North Central Washington Region Three: South Central Washington Region Five Region Six: South Sound/Olympic Peninsula Region Four: North Central Sound
April 2017

Start of lowland lakes trout season
one of many 'opening days' in April

For many anglers, "opening day" is synonymous with the start of the lowland lakes trout-fishing season, which gets underway April 22 this year. Hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians typically descend on trout-stocked lakes to kick off the state's biggest outdoor event.

To prepare for the upcoming season, hatchery crews from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have been working since last year to stock millions of fish in hundreds of lakes throughout the state. Anglers can find how many went where at

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But anglers – and hunters, too – are also looking forward to a variety of other "opening days" this month for outdoor adventures, including:

  • Columbia Basin lake fishing: Dozens of lakes in the Columbia Basin open to fishing April 1.
  • Razor clam digs: A razor clam dig is underway at Twin Harbors with another scheduled for mid-April on various ocean beaches. For details, see WDFW's razor clam webpage.
  • Spring turkey hunt: The general spring turkey hunt opens April 15 for hunters of all ages and runs through May 31. See WDFW's Washington Wild Turkey Spring Season pamphlet at for more information.

For most people, a valid 2017-18 fishing or hunting license will be required to participate in those activities after March 31, when all 2016-17 licenses expire. The exception is young people under age 15, who can fish for free. Licenses and permits are available online, by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.

For more information about outdoor activities coming up this month, see the Weekender Regional Reports at These reports are updated throughout the month to provide current information about recreational opportunities around the state.

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