With tens of thousands of large rainbow trout recently stocked and more on the way, Puget Sound and Southwest Washington anglers can cross an early item off holiday wish lists.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has now stocked most of 33 Western Washington lakes scheduled to receive a total of 75,000 large rainbow trout by Thanksgiving.

Chris Donley, WDFW’s inland fish program manager, said he expects angling to be very good throughout the winter months at all of these lakes.

“Most of the trout stretch 12 to 17 inches, but some tip the scales at 5 or 6 pounds,” said Donley. “These are very nice trout, and they’re ready to be caught now.”

A list of these lakes – as well as the department’s recently updated stocking plan for Fall into Fishing and Black Friday – is available for viewing at http://1.usa.gov/1gusSdq. For up-to-date stocking information, see the department’s weekly catchable trout stocking report at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/.

WDFW’s “Fall into Fishing” promotion is a response to anglers’ requests to increase fall and winter trout fishing opportunities in Western Washington.

“Twenty-four Puget Sound lakes have already been stocked, with more to follow this month,” said Donley. “Then, at the end of this month, Southwest Washington anglers get in on the action with our second-annual ‘Black Friday’ promotion, the culmination of our Fall into Fishing program.”

Donley said that in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, the department will stock more lakes for Black Friday, including six in Southwest Washington and one each in Jefferson and Mason counties in the Puget Sound region.

“Our Black Friday event offers great opportunities for anyone – including beginners or anglers returning to the sport – to wet a line to catch a stringer of big, hard-fighting trout,” said Donley.

To participate in Fall into Fishing or the Black Friday event in Southwestern Washington, anglers must have a current Washington freshwater fishing license valid through March 31, 2014. Licenses can be purchased online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license vendors across the state.

For details on license vendor locations, visit the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/.

Anglers parking at WDFW water-access sites are required to display on their vehicle the WDFW Vehicle Access Pass that is provided free with every annual fishing license purchased. The passes are transferable between two vehicles. Anglers who use Washington State Parks or Department of Natural Resource areas need a Discover Pass. For more information on the pass, visit http://discoverpass.wa.gov/.

Before heading out, anglers should check fishing regulations, which are available at license vendors and on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.

Logo courtesy Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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