With “spring break” fast approaching, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is stocking dozens of lakes in Western Washington with more than 250,000 rainbow trout ready to bite on a worm or lure.

Averaging 10-12 inches in length, those fish will be released into 47 year-round fishing lakes in Grays Harbor, Thurston, Pierce, Mason, Kitsap, Island, King and Snohomish counties throughout the month (see below).

Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager, said the trout release is timed to give fishing families an opportunity to spend time outdoors during spring school holidays – and tune up their gear before the start of the state’s main trout season April 27.

“Spring is coming, and a lot of people are eager to go fishing,” Donley said. “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 http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ .

Hundreds of other year-round lakes around the state have been – or soon will be – stocked for springtime fishing. For weekly trout stocking information go to http://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 (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ ), by phone (1-866-320-9933) and from license dealers around the state.

Information about fishing prospects at lakes throughout the state is available at WDFW’s Fish Washington website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/ )

Lakes/ponds to be stocked with trout in March 2013
(Stocking dates subject to change, based on conditions)

CountyLake/Pond# TroutDate (approx.)Details
Grays HarborDuck Lake

1,100

Week of 3/16
Lake Sylvia

1,500

3/28-3/29

Vance Creek
Pond #1

1,000

3/28-3/29

Special opening for juvenile, senior and disabled anglers only
IslandCranberry Lake

6,500

3/12

Good shoreline access
Lone Lake

3,000

3/6

Selective gear rules only; no bait
KingAlice Lake

1,200

3/12-3/15

Angle Lake

3,000

3/28

Kokanee also available. Boat ramp open, parking limited by construction.
Beaver Lake

7,000

3/18-3/22

Good shoreline access
Green Lake

17,400

3/13-3/19

Good youth fishing
Meridian Lake

10,000

3/14

Good shoreline access
Sawyer Lake

1,500

3/14

KitsapKitsap Lake

5,000

3/6

12-14 inches
MasonKokanee Lake

8,000

3/5

12-14 inches
Lost Lake

5,000

3/26

Nahwatzel Lake

5,000

3/7

12-14 inches
Spencer Lake

11,000

4/1-4/5

PierceAmerican Lake

12,000

*

Bonney Lake

1,000

3/13

Bradley Lake

1,000

3/29

Florence Lake

3,900

3/18

Harts Lake

6,480

3/19

Louise Lake

2,340

3/20

Spanaway Lake

18,000

*

Steilacoom Lake

5,000

*

Wapato Lake

1,680

3/13

Anglers under age 15 only
Waughop Lake

1,500

3/26

Whitman Lake

2,000

3/26

SnohomishBallinger Lake

6,400

3/12

Blackmans Lake

4,000

3/18-3/22

Good shoreline access
Cassidy Lake

4,000

3/18-3/22

Chain Lake

2,000

3/25-3/29

Flowing Lake

6,000

*

Gissberg Ponds
(Twin Lakes)

2,000

3/5

Anglers under age 15 only at north pond; good shoreline access
Ketchum Lake

2,000

3/5

Loma Lake

1,700

3/19

Lost (Devil’s) Lake

1,100

3/18

Martha Lake

2,500

3/5

Panther Lake

1,500

3/18

Shoecraft Lake

5,000

3/18

Silver Lake

6,000

3/13

Good shoreline access
Tye Lake

2,000

3/25-3/29

Good shoreline access
ThurstonBlack Lake

25,000

3/15 & 21

Long’s Pond

2,000

3/28

Anglers under age 15 only
Lake St. Clair

9,500

3/21 & 3/28

Lawrence Lake

10,000

*

Munn Lake

500

3/27

Catch and release only; no bait
Offutt Lake

4,000

*

Also received 1,110 cutthroat

 

*Stocking date(s) not yet determined

Image courtesy Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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