Several hundred lakes, stocked by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) with millions of hatchery-reared fish, open on April 25 for a four-to five-month-long fishing season.
"It's our biggest fishing season opener because it traditionally draws more than 300,000 anglers of all ages," said WDFW Director Phil Anderson. "With the annual freshwater fishing license still under $22 for adults and free for kids 14 and under, it's a great bargain in outdoor recreation."
With waters in every county of the state well stocked before the big opening day, Anderson noted that families can also keep travel costs down with good fishing close to home.
"This may be the best time ever for those who used to fish to get back into it with family and friends," Anderson said. "Costs remain low and our hatchery stocking is at a peak."
WDFW Inland Fish Program Manager Jim Uehara reports more than 19.8 million trout are stocked in lakes and streams throughout the state for this year's fishery, including those planted in waters that opened earlier this spring or are open year-round. Most trout will be stocked before the lakes season gets under way the last Saturday of April.