Statewide fishing season opens April 27, redesigned fishing app launched

Apr. 15—OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will recognize the opening of fishing season with a statewide trout fishing derby. Lakes throughout the state open April 27.

"The annual trout derby kickoff coincides with the lowland lakes season opener," according to a WDFW press release.

Fish carrying a derby tag have been planted in more than 100 lakes statewide, the press release said. The fishing derby is open until Oct. 31. More than 800 donated prizes will be available.

Anglers must have a valid fishing license to go fishing on Opening Day. Licenses can be purchased online at the WDFW website, at locations around the state, or by calling 360-902-2464.

The WDFW plants trout in lakes around the state throughout the year.

"Opening Day lakes are often stocked shortly before the start of their six-month season," it said. "Depending on the lake, people may encounter rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon and other fish species."

Fish and Wildlife planted more than 14.5 million trout and kokanee over the last year, with another 143,000 jumbo trout. The catchable trout average 12 to 14 inches, while the jumbo trout typically are bigger than 14 inches.

The WDFW website lists the lakes stocked recently, and its fish stocking website has information on the plans for stocking lakes in 2024. The site also has planting reports for catchable trout.

An updated version of the WDFW Fish Washington app was launched last week.

"Fish Washington is a free mobile application designed to convey up-to-the-minute fishing regulations for every lake, river, stream and marine area in the state," according to a WDFW press release.

The app was redesigned to address some issues users had reported with earlier versions. The updated app uses less memory and data and requires fewer updates. Developers also added U.S. Geological Service river gauges, more consistency when posting emergency regulations and map upgrades. People will be able to connect with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website to access tidal predictions for coastal waters and sections of the Columbia River.