Black Friday Fishing Awaits A Hungry Heart
Perhaps you crave more than peak consumerism on a weekend we are supposed to be thankful for what we have.
We get that sentiment and second the notion.
Believe it or not, so do a few souls working for the state.
Every year the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks lakes across the state to give families a chance at a memory and more than a credit card bill.
While that means just a short list of close lakes, if you want to take advantage of the weekend you can drive to places a little further away if you follow the links and check out the stocking plan.
WDFW is offering "anglers opportunities for tight lines rather than long lines" on the day after Thanksgiving, they boast on their website.
The "holiday specials" include thousands of large trout averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing up to three pounds.
In other cool news, a new emergency rule just opened the lower Snake River to retention of hatchery steelhead measuring under 28 inches in length.
Just past the Tri-Cities on the Snake River from the mouth of the river (Burbank to Pasco railroad bridge at Snake River mile 1.25) to the Washington/Idaho state line, at Clarkston Washington. Fishery managers are giving us a daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead, but BE CAREFUL, you must release all steelhead 28 inches or greater in length.
Areas already open to steelhead retention:
- Snake River from the Idaho/Washington state line (at Clarkston, Wash.) upstream to the Couse Creek Boat Ramp: Daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead; release all steelhead 28 inches or greater in length.
- Snake River from Couse Creek Boat Ramp upstream to the Idaho/Oregon state line: Daily limit of 2 hatchery steelhead; no size restrictions.
The new rules went into effect Nov. 18, and are good until further notice. so know before you go and check emergency rules.
WDFW said while lagging steelhead returns during the summer led fisheries managers to initially close or reduce daily limits for steelhead fisheries to protect both A-run steelhead (fish smaller than 28 inches) and B-run steelhead (those 28 inches and larger) destined for the Columbia and Snake river basins. However, A-run steelhead, both wild and hatchery-origin adults, have returned in adequate numbers to allow opening portions of the Snake River to steelhead retention, including the lower portion of the river.
Allowing retention of fish measuring less than 28 inches in length will give anglers the opportunity to harvest excess hatchery A-run steelhead, while still providing protection to the remaining B-run steelhead within this reach. WDFW will continue to monitor the steelhead run over the coming months, and either curtail the harvest of steelhead if needed, or provide more harvest opportunity if possible.
Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River. Anglers cannot remove any chinook or steelhead from the water unless it is retained as part of their daily bag limit. Anglers should be sure to identify their catch because unmarked chinook salmon, coho salmon and steelhead are also in the Snake River during this fishery.
Anglers are reminded to check the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, and a definition of a hatchery steelhead.