The state will stock more than a quarter million rainbow trout in dozens of lakes across Western Washington in time for spring break.
The trout, measuring 10-12 inches long, will be released into 47 year-round fishing lakes in Pierce, Thurston, King, Mason, Kitsap, Grays Harbor, Island and Snohomish counties through the end of the month.
The release is timed to give fishing families an opportunity to spend time outdoors during spring school holidays and tune their gear before the start of the state's main trout season April 27, said Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager.
"Spring is coming, and a lot of people are eager to go fishing," Donley said in a prepared statement. "Our goal is to give them something to catch on both sides of the Cascades at a time when the weather is warming up and students have a break from school."
All of the lakes stocked in Western Washington are located in or near cities and towns, providing an easy getaway for families and young people. For example, Green Lake in Seattle is situated in a city park and can easily be fished from the shoreline or from docks. It is scheduled to receive 17,400 rainbows.
Some lakes, such as Wapato in Pierce County and Long's Pond in Thurston County, are open only to anglers under 15 years old. Fishing regulations for all lakes are outlined in the Fish Washington rule pamphlet, available online at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.
Hundreds of other year-round lakes around the state have been – or soon will be – stocked for spring fishing. Weekly trout stocking information is available at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly.
All anglers 15 and older must have a valid fishing license to fish in state waters. Current licenses expire at midnight March 31, so anglers planning to fish beyond that date must purchase a 2013-14 license, available online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by phone at 866-320-9933 and from license dealers around the state.
The Pierce County lakes that were to be planted are (with the number of fish): American (12,000), Bonney (1,000), Bradley (1,000), Florence (3,900), Harts (6,480), Louise (2,340), Spanaway (18,000), Steilacoom (5,000),Wapato (1,680), Waughhop (1,500) and Whitman (2,000).
The Thurston County lakes are: Black (25,000), Long’s Pond (2,000), St. Clair (9,500), Lawrence (10,000), Munn (500) and Offut (4,000).
Other lakes include Sylvia (Grays Harbor County, 1,500 trout), Lone (Island, 3,000), Kitsap (Kitsap, 5,000) and Spencer (Mason, 11,000).