Outdoors

Washington dates keep anglers on their toes

Tom Jones, 77, of Spokane Valley,  tosses a fish back into West Medical Lake on Wednesday. “It’s a nice day if I caught a fish or not,” he said. He caught his first trout moments later and gave it to another angler on the ramp. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Tom Jones, 77, of Spokane Valley, tosses a fish back into West Medical Lake on Wednesday. “It’s a nice day if I caught a fish or not,” he said. He caught his first trout moments later and gave it to another angler on the ramp. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

FISHING — There's no single opening day for fishing in Washington.

Fishing seasons open throughout the year, including major waters that open on March 1, April 1 and, of course, the popular lowland trout season that opens the “last Saturday in April.”
 
Just to keep anglers thinking, the new 2011-2012 fishing licenses were required as of April 1.
 
But any rule changes detailed in the 2011-2012 fishing regulations pamphlet, which will show up later this month at fishing license dealers, don’t take effect until May 1.
 
Read on for even more dates anglers must consider before wetting a line in Washington.

Washington's statewide stream fishing opening day is the “first Saturday in June.”

However, exceptions are made for some streams, which open the “Saturday of Memorial Day weekend” rather than on the statewide opening date in June.
Selected waters opening May 28 this year include:
  • Lake Roosevelt tributaries between Grand Coulee Dam and State Highway Bridge at Northport (except Barnaby Creek,
  • Nancy Creek and tributaries to be listed in the sportfishing rules pamphlet),
  • Colville River from Valley bridge upstream and all tributaries,
  • Kettle River and Kettle Arm,
  • Little Pend Oreille River.
 One more date to consider is July 1.  That's the day rule changes enacted by the Washington Legislature generally would go into effect.  One being considered is a change in some fishing and hunting license fees.  For instance, the cost of a two-pole permits is proposed to be reduced…but there's a lot of fishing to do between now and then, and the lawmakers may or may not pass the bill.
The only major rule change in this region that will kick in on May 1 is a ban on using small lead sinkers at 13 northern Washington lakes where loons are known to nest.



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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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