Rather spend the day after Thanksgiving fishing for big rainbow trout than shopping for holiday discounts?

Starting Friday, Nov. 23, anglers will find thousands of “holiday specials” during a seasonal Black Friday trout fishery opportunity at six lakes in southwest Washington.

To prepare for the post-holiday event, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will plant each of those lakes with 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 1¼ pounds apiece.

All six lakes will be closed to fishing Nov. 19-22, when they will be stocked with hefty trout from the Mossyrock and Goldendale fish hatcheries. The six lakes scheduled to receive those fish are:

  • Battleground Lake and Klineline Pond in Clark County
  • Kress Lake in Cowlitz County
  • Fort Borst Park Pond and South Lewis County Park Pond in Lewis County
  • Rowland Lake in Klickitat County

“If you’d rather be out on the water than shopping in a mall, this fishery is for you,” said John Weinheimer, a WDFW fish biologist based in Vancouver. “These big rainbows should provide good fishing for several weeks after the holiday.”

Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager, called the Black Friday fishery an experiment, which could lead to similar events in other parts of the state. The challenge, he said, is finding the hatchery capacity and stocking support to make that possible.

Both fishery managers encourage anglers who go after the big trout on Black Friday to share photos of their catches on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/sharephotos/.  Information about the six lakes set to open with freshly stocked lunkers is available at (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/).

In the spirit of the special fishery and the food-centered holiday, WDFW fishery managers offer the following recipe:

Blackened Fish

Preheat cast iron skillet or griddle, preferably on outdoor grill, until very hot.

Dip thick (at least one-half-inch) fish fillets into melted butter and then into cajun blackening spice mixture (equal parts black, white and cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme).

Cook in hot skillet about 2 minutes or until bottom is near black but not burned.

Turn fillets, drizzle with more melted butter, continue cooking about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with dipping butter.

Image courtesy Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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