Fish on through winter to the big day in the spring

Winter fishing, the lowland lake opener, and points in between

Spring isn’t far away, but there’s still plenty of angling action to be had before the big lowland lakes fishing opener on April 24. Here’s a quick look at your opportunities to get out for fun from the last weeks of winter to the big day in the spring.

Wintertime, and the fishin’ is chilly

Recent snowstorms remind us we’re not through the season yet, but many lakes and reservoirs offer excellent winter fishing for trout, yellow perch, walleye, burbot, crappie, and more into March.

Read all about it in our winter fishing blog.

For up-to-date stocking information, check the WDFW Catchable Trout Report for weekly updates.

This rainbow trout was caught and released by WDFW in Amber Lake in Spokane County. (WDFW) 

For a look at the full breadth of fishing opportunity, especially if you don’t see your favorite lake listed in the weekly report of larger stocked fish, check the annual Statewide Trout and Kokanee Stocking Plan, which also includes fry plants stocked the year before and meant to grow into catchable size.

Many Washington lakes and reservoirs offer excellent winter fishing for a variety of fish, including yellow perch. (Tyler Hicks)
Success! (Tyler Hicks)

Early spring

Lake fishing opportunities warm up as we enter spring, so check out these webpages to find out how, where, and when to fish for these species:

Lowland lake opener

Then comes the big day: Sharpen your hooks for the annual lowland lake opener, set for April 24 this year. Lakes in Washington that aren’t open year-round open to fishing that day to give anglers new and old exciting, family-friendly fishing opportunities.

Search for local fishing opportunities, where individual lake pages identify bank access, what’s in the water, and when it’s biting:

The more you know

There are plenty more opportunities than touched on here, so check out these other resources for more angling inspiration:

Licenses

If you haven’t already, you can buy your license today by calling 360-902-2464, visiting mywdfw.com, or going to a license dealer near you. Go to wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/dealers to find your nearest license dealer.

Responsible recreation

When fishing, please recreate responsibly amid the coronavirus pandemic by following social distancing guidelines from state and local health authorities.

Be safe, tight lines, and enjoy fishing Washington!