Sports

Opening day of lake fishing next Saturday

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Officials from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) are estimating up to 300,000 anglers to cast their fishing lines this weekend. Saturday marks opening day of lowland lake fishing in Washington.

“It’s about six times bigger than any other single sporting event in the state,” said WDFW director Jeff Koenings. “Fortunately, we’re not all in one place that day. I wish I could guarantee perfect weather, but I can say there will be plenty of fish to go around.”

The traditional start of lowland lake fishing is always held on the last Saturday of April. This year’s opener should extend good fishing opportunities well into the summer, say WDFW fish biologists.

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 21 million fish.

“Opening day is usually the best time to catch these fish because water temperatures are cool and the fish are hungry,” Koenings said. “But I urge everyone to be patient and safe at boat launches and docks.”

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 60,000 triploid trout were stocked statewide, including 717 in SeaTac’s Angle Lake, 917 in Kent’s Lake Meridian and 1,309 in Covington’s Lake Sawyer.

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.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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