Hatchery trout and PowerBait at lowland lakes: Great times for tens of thousands in Washington

Erik Lacitis, The Seattle Times on

Published in Outdoors

There is the mythic adventure of trekking to a mountain river, a fly rod in hand for catching wild trout. It is all taking place, of course, in a poetic setting in which nature talks to you.

Then there is the trout fishing that over 30,000 anglers, mostly in 200 lowland lakes on this side of the mountains, did on opening day for the fishing season Saturday, April 23.

This is fishing at a dock at Martha Lake Park in Lynnwood, just past the rushing traffic on 164th Street Southwest, not far from the Walmart.

Each year, the state issues 650,000 to 700,000 freshwater fishing licenses, with about 75% used to fish for trout, a "high proportion" done in lowland lakes, says the state's Department of Fish & Wildlife.

It's an outdoor experience that might not be relatable to many in a digital city and for whom fishing is an experience left to the Outdoor Channel.

But then for that young couple, kids come along, and things change.


At the giant Hooked on Toys & Sporting Goods store in Wenatchee, Johnny Stavenjord, fishing goods buyer, said he sees these young families come in. And why not? The store is a must-stop for many going to the recreation areas around there.

"This state has a lot of lakes stocked with trout, and they're pretty willing biters," he said.

According to a 2020 report by the Outdoor Industry Association, 50 million Americans fished in 2019, the highest number in a decade, with 3 million fishing for the first time that year, including 1.2 million children aged 6-12.

Many of us are familiar with this kind of outdoor experience.


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