Angler 'April madness' a week away


Nine days from now, Saturday, April 27, the 2013 spring/summer trout fishing season opens on a host of Washington lakes, ponds and reservoirs.

A statewide rite of spring that has been an angling tradition for decades, it's an unrivaled event that continues to attract the largest single-day number of anglers of any sport fishing season.

Many participants are casual fishers who wet a line for trout just a few times a year and certainly the majority also are out for yet another reason, a shared family recreational outing.


Opening day of trout season actually takes place in accordance with regulations that expire a few days later. May Day is the annual renewal date for personal use or sport fishing rules with the vast majority of said regs actually continuing unchanged.

But every year alterations are made and in one case this year, anglers with a certain yen won't have to wait for the state's largesse to take effect.

Those fond of spring fishing on the lower Skagit River below Mount Vernon will have that opportunity restored in the 2013-14 permanent regulations for the coming years. And thanks to action by the fish and wildlife department, it's open now through Wednesday, April 30 under an emergency regulation viewable at


For profiles of Whatcom County opening day waters and where to hit the Skagit in the meantime plus more fishing and hunting news, read Sunday's Outdoors Column.

Doug Huddle, the Bellingham Herald's outdoors correspondent, since 1983, has written a weekly fishing and hunting column that now appears Sundays. Read his blog and contact him at

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