Fishing season kicks off April 27

April 23, 2013

By Mark Yuasa

Bigger trout.

That is what anglers will find lurking in more than 500 lakes and ponds when the statewide trout fishing season begins April 27.

“We had a vision two years ago in our trout-stocking program to boost the size of what we call catchable trout,” said Chris Donley, the state Fish and Wildlife inland fisheries manager.

“We laid out a challenge to our hatchery folks to do this in a cost-effective manner,” Donley said. “They sharpened their pencils, and found a way to produce the same number of trout, yet increase their size. That is a massive gain and very impressive.”

This season, 2.39 million of these chunky catchable trout (averaging 10 to 12 inches) are being stocked for more than 300,000 anglers expected to turn out this weekend.

“No more 7-, 9-inch swimming hot dogs,” said Bruce Bolding, a state Fish and Wildlife fish program manager. “All catchable plants are standardized to be at least 10, 12 inches, which is a really nice fish.

“We want to make sure 100 percent of lakes with catchable plants met that size goal” up from 90 percent last year, Bolding said. “People noticed the difference (last year), and it certainly helped with a higher happiness factor and helped anglers have a better experience. That is what opening day is all about.”

To boost the jubilance further, trout plants will also include 110,131 “jumbos” averaging 13 to 16 inches.

 

You should know

Pine Lake will open for fishing season April 27 and continue through Oct. 31.

A fishing license is required for everyone 16 and older. The price varies from $11.35 for a resident one-day temporary license to $29.50 for a resident’s annual freshwater license. The price is higher for nonresidents; residents older than 70 get a discount.

Statewide minimum size and daily limits apply. See a list of the complete rules and regulations at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing.

 

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