North Puget Sound: One of the states most popular fishing openers is scheduled later in the month, when the lowland lakes trout season gets under way. The season begins April 25, when hundreds of lakes stocked with thousands of legal-sized trout will open for fishing.
Until then, nearly two-dozen year-round fishing lakes in the region have already been stocked with trout, and should provide good fishing opportunities early in the month. Waters stocked with trout averaging 10 to 12 inches in length include Alice, Angle, Beaver, Rattlesnake, Meridian and Sawyer lakes in King County; and Ballinger, Blackmans, Cassidy, Chain, Flowing, Gissberg Ponds (Twin Lakes), Goodwin, Ketchum, Lost (Devils), Martha, Panther, Roesiger, Shoecraft, and Silver lakes in Snohomish County.
Salmon fishing also is an option in several marine areas of Puget Sound. Anglers fishing marine areas 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island and Skagit Bay) and 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) have a two-salmon daily limit, but must release wild chinook. Marine areas 7 (San Juan Islands) and 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) are closed to salmon fishing, while Marine Area 9 is open only through April 15.
Fishing for blackmouth salmon in the region will require more time and effort in April, said Ryan Lothrop, Puget Sound recreational salmon fishing manager. Fishing for blackmouth salmon in early spring can be pretty spotty, so anglers need to put some time in on the water, he said.
Catch and release fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout is also heating up, and fly fishers often can have success with chum fry patterns during tidal changes near structure in the vicinity of rivers, said Lothrop.
Anglers are reminded that all 2014-2015 Washington state fishing licenses expire at midnight March 31. To keep fishing, anglers 15 years of age and older must purchase a 2015-16 license. Licenses and permits are available online, by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.