Fishing Options Sprout in May for Trout, Halibut, Shrimp, & Lingcod
This is the time of year when new fishing opportunities start popping open like daffodils in the afternoonsun. Shrimp and lingcod inPuget Sound. Halibut there and off theWashingtoncoast. Spring chinook salmononthe Chehalis andYakimarivers.
But none of those fisheries draw bigger crowds than the lowland lakes trout-fishing season, which opened April 28 statewide. In preparationfor opening day, the WashingtonDepartment of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) planted millions of trout, ranging from 11-inch “catchables” to 11-pound jumbos.
“The weather was good, and so was the fishing,” said Chris Donley, WDFW’s inland fish manager. “We saw a lot of limits taken at lakes throughout the state.”
But opening day is justone day of many in the state’s trout season, Donley said. Now the tanker trucks are rolling again, delivering more fish toWashingtonlakes.
“We stock lakes with trout for the whole season, not just opening day,” Donley said.
“Trout fishing should be highly productive in lowland lakes through June, and then again in September. In higher-elevationlakes, fishing should be good right through the summer.”
For most anglers, a valid 2012-13 fishing license is required to fish inWashingtonstate. The exceptionis young people under age 15, who fish for free.
Licenses and permits are avaiIableonline (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/), by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state. A list of license vendors is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ and from local WDFW offices.
Key dates for fisheries opening in May include:
· -> May 1 – Lingcod fishing opens inPuget Sound. Also spring chinook fishing opensonthe Chehalis Rive r.
· -> May 3 – Halibut fishing opens in Marine Areas 6-10 inPuget Sound. Halibut fishing also opens in Marine Area 1 off the south coast (Ilwaco).
· -> May 5-7 – Last razor-clam dig of the season, at Twin Harborsonly.
-> May 5 – Shrimp fishing opens in areas ofPuget Sound.
-> May 6 – Halibut fishing opens in Marine Area 2 off the south coast (WestportandOceanShores)
· -> May 10 – Halibut fishing opens in marine areas 3 and 4 off the north coast (La Push/Neah Bay).
-> May 24 – Halibut fishing opens in Marine Area 5 (Sekiu/Pillar Point)
For more informationabout these and other outdoor activities coming up in the weeks ahead, see the region-by-regionWeekender ReportsonWDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/weekender/. These reports are updated throughout the month for changes in fishing rules and other developments throughout the state.
For access informationand fishing prospects, check out the new Fish Washington! look-up tool onWDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/.