Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Washington Trout Derby on Horizon

As Earth Day and Earth Month approach, many outdoor enthusiasts are excited for the start of the statewide lowland lakes fishing season, which begins April 27. This fishing opener attracts hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians who enjoy lakes across the state stocked with trout, and in some areas, other fish. Search for local fishing spots, with information on bank access, what’s in the water, and when it’s biting, on the lowland lakes page. You can also find out how many fish the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) stocked in each lake by checking the stocking reports.

April 27 is also the kickoff for the Department’s annual statewide trout derby, which runs through Oct. 31 at more than 100 stocked lakes. Over 100 participating businesses are offering more than 800 prizes valued at over $42,000. The derby is open to anyone with a valid 2024 fishing license, though temporary licenses are not valid for game fish species from April 27 to May 1. There is no entry fee or registration required. You just catch a tagged trout anytime between April 27 and Oct. 31 and you win! Plus, children under 15 fish for free.

Visit the derby information page in early April to find a participating lake near you and learn more about how the derby works.