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Lake fishing opens next Saturday
By CASEY OLSON
Officials from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are estimating up to 300,000 anglers to cast their fishing lines next weekend. Saturday, April 28 marks opening day of lowland lake fishing in Washington.
This fishing season opener really is like New Years Day, said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) director Jeff Koenings. We manage several kinds of fishing season openers in Washington, but with over 300,000 men, women and children getting out to our trout-stocked waters on this last Saturday of April its the season with by far the greatest participation. And that makes it a real celebration.
This years opener should extend good fishing opportunities well into the summer, say WDFW fish biologists. WDFW will stock more than 22 million trout in lakes and streams throughout the state for this years fishery, including those planted in waters that opened earlier this spring or are open year-round.
Most of the lakes that open to fishing on Saturday, remain open through October. A freshwater fishing license is needed to participate on opening day. Licenses are available to resident adults for $21.90 and can be purchased at www.fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone at 1-866-246-9453 or at several license dealers across the state. Kids under 15 fish for free.
Everybody who buys a license receives a free Vehicle Use Permit, which must be on any motor vehicle parked in a WDFW fishing access parking lot. The permits are transferrable between up to two vehicles.
Fish and Wildlife officials have been busy stocking the lakes throughout Washington with more than 22 million fish.
This year, 95 lakes throughout the state were stocked with triploid trout averaging a pound-and-a-half each. These trout, purchased by WDFW, are sterile rainbows that are heavy eaters and have the potential to grow to trophy size. A total of 114,000 triploid trout were stocked statewide, compared to 60,000 last year. Area lakes with the triploid trout include SeaTacs Angle Lake (868 total), Kents Lake Meridian (1,111) and Covingtons Lake Sawyer (1,584).
The fishing should be solid at lakes around Federal Way on Saturday. Steel Lake was stocked with 10,000 rainbow trout eight- to 12-inches long, Lake Dolloff received 2,000, Lake Geneva got 6,000 rainbows, Five Mile Lake got 3,000, Lake Killarney received 3,500 and Lake Fenwick was stocked with 2,000 trout. Other area lakes that will be open Saturday will be North Lake, Lake Holm and Star Lake.
Lets all be careful out there on this big opener and throughout the season, Koenings said. I urge everyone to be patient and safe at boat launches and docks. Everyone in boats, and all children on shore, should use personal flotation devices.