SATURDAY’S LOWLAND LAKE opener provides another solid opportunity to hook the next generation of anglers.
And those new to fishing could come away with more than a tasty trout meal.
This year the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has upped the ante for the second annual Trout Fishing Derby. The 2017 iteration runs for a greater length of time this year, from Saturday all the way to Oct. 31.
Hatchery crews have been busy stocking fish with more than 16 million trout and Kokanee planted in lakes on both sides of the Cascades.
This includes the North Olympic Peninsula. The fish are out there. And with some sunny and relatively warm weather planned Friday, the trout may be up for the bite Saturday.
The Bogachiel Hatchery’s South Pond received 2,400 rainbow trout earlier this week, and while only open to children, the Lincoln Park Pond still has plenty of the more than 1,300 trout planted in advance of the kid’s fishing derby held earlier this month.
Too many trout to count
Jefferson County has seen a massive amount of fish plants in the past few months.
Three Jefferson County lakes, Anderson, Leland and Tarboo, have been planted with tagged trout derby fish by Fish and Wildlife.
Anglers who catch one of 1,000 tagged fish can also claim prizes provided by license dealers and other sponsors located across the state. The total value of prizes is more than $25,000.
The yellow tube-shaped “floy” tags, are attached to the dorsal fin. Each tag correlates to a prize, so don’t accidentally toss those out when you are cleaning your catch.
For more information on the derby, including how to claim your prize, visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/derby.
The county’s most popular fishing lake, Lake Leland, received 2,024 smaller rainbow in late March and 150 larger cutthroat in late January.
Anderson Lake, which received the same caution warning as Lake Leland and Gibbs Lake in toxin testing by Jefferson County Public Health on April 10 (no bloom visible, toxic species present), was planted with 2,502 smaller rainbows back in late March.
The state finally listened to me (I kid) and made Anderson Lake, battered by toxic algae blooms in the past decade, a year-round fishing lake last summer. That cleared the lake for winter fishing when the toxic threat is typically at its lowest.
Tarboo Lake received the most recent plant last week.
This lake 3.5 miles north of Quilcene was stocked with 1,620 smaller rainbows, 30 jumbo rainbows averaging 1.5 pounds apiece and 11 other larger rainbows.
Many other options
Sandy Shore, near state Highway 104 on the way to Hood Canal Bridge, was packed with 2,200 small rainbows, 50 jumbos and 1o of the biggies last week.
Silent, Horseshoe, Gibbs and Teal lakes all have been stocked in recent weeks and months, so while you may not come away with a tagged prizewinner, the chance for fun and a fish dinner remains high.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]