The start date for opening day this Saturday is also when the state Fish and Wildlife’s trout derby gets underway April 22 through Oct. 31, and has been extended to a month longer compared to last year’s inaugural start of the event.
A total of 1,500 prizes worth up to $29,00 will be given away, and anglers caught about 50 percent of the tagged fish that were available for prizes last year.
To improve the number of tags turned in this coming season, state fisheries looked at where catches were better last year and will stock them accordingly into 100-plus waterways. In some instances, state fisheries also offered more tagged fish in lakes that were near the vendors who helped sponsor the derby.
State fisheries officials say the number of lakes in the Puget Sound region with tagged trout will be the same as last year, which was about 200 tagged trout.
There is no entrance fee to participate, and anyone with a valid fishing license is welcome to try their luck. In order for an angler to claim a prize, the individual must contact state Fish and Wildlife’s 24-hour hotline at 360-902-2464 and provide tag information.
There is a wide range of prizes, including trips; magazine subscriptions; gift cards to sporting goods stores and restaurants; fishing tackle; rod-and-reel combos; boat rentals; and clothing.
Other upcoming fishing events
The Sky Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited free Kids Trout Fishing Day is April 23 at Lake Tye in Monroe. Children under age 12 can fish for free from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in a netted area at the south end of the lake. There will also be an adult fishing derby 2-5 p.m. with a cash prize of $250 for the largest fish, and a bonus prize of $500 for anyone who catches a special “tagged” fish. Cost is $10. The Sky Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, along with support from the City of Monroe and local area businesses and sports fishing clubs, is buying $6,000 worth of fish to ensure plenty of fish to catch. Details: 206-818-2991 or email email@example.com.
The Black Lake Fishing Kids Derby is 7 a.m. on Saturday in Ilwaco, and is sponsored by the City of Ilwaco. Open for youth age 2 to 14, and features a free pancake breakfast and a hot dog tent. Register at www.ilwaco-wa.gov/forms/fishingderby.shtml. Details: 800-451-2542 or www.funbeach.com.
The “Hooked On Fishing” Opening Day Trout Derby is Saturday on Lake Wilderness. Fishing begins at 12:01 a.m. with a late-night pancake breakfast. The event is hosted by the Greater Maple Valley – Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Maple Valley Rotary and the City of Maple Valley. Cost is $2, plus an optional $5 tagged derby ticket. Details: www.maplevalleychamber.org/hooked-on-fishing.
A Youth Fishing Event is 8 a.m. on Saturday at Reflection Pond at Sarg Hubbard Park in Yakima. Open for youth age 5 to 14. Register online at http://www.yakimagreenway.org/kids-fish-inor 509-453-8280.
There is an All-Ages Fishing Derby at daybreak to 10 a.m. on Saturday at Bowers and Inez Lakes (also known as Vance Creek Ponds 1 and 2) in Grays Harbor County. Hosted by the Elma Game Club. Details: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/kids/events.html.
The Kids Fishing Derby is from daybreak to noon on Saturday at Cases Pond in Pacific County. Open for all youth up to age 14. Hosted by the Willapa Harbor Lions Club and Dennis Company. Details: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/kids/events.html.
The Kids Fishing Derby is 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Lake Aberdeen in Grays Harbor County. Open for youth age 3 to 15. Hosted by the Aberdeen VFW. Details: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/kids/events.html.