Opening day of the 2013 lowland lakes fishing season is slated for early morning on April 27 around the state.
In preparation for the opener, hatchery crews from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have been working since last year to stock more than 17 million fish in over 600 lakes throughout Washington. Included in those, are 3,250 rainbow trout inside Federal Way's Steel Lake.
According to the WDFW, at least 300,000 anglers typically turn out for the first day of the lowland lakes season, which remains open into the fall. Although many state waters are open year-round, the April opening marks the start of the state’s most popular fishery.
To participate, anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2014. Licenses can be purchased online at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone at 1-866-246-9453 or at hundreds of license dealers across the state. For details on license vendor locations, visit wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/.
Freshwater fishing licenses cost $29.50 for resident adults 16 to 69 years old. Seniors 70 and older can buy an annual fishing license for $7.50. Children 14 years of age and younger do not need a fishing license.
“April really marks the start of the new year for fishing, hunting, and a wide range of outdoor activities,” said Joe Stohr, WDFW deputy director. “The annual cycle is beginning again and a lot of us are glad to see it arrive.”
Anglers parking at WDFW water-access sites are required to display on their vehicle the WDFW Vehicle Access Pass that is provided free with every annual fishing license purchased. The passes are transferable between two vehicles. Anglers who use Washington State Parks or Department of Natural Resource areas need the $35 annual or $11.50 daily Discover Pass.