Over 300,000 anglers are expected to hit trout waters across the state for the opening day of the 2012 lowland lakes season this Saturday, Apr. 28.
It doesn’t matter where you go in Lewis County, south Thurston or upper Cowlitz County, you’ll find fish and you’ll find them aplenty. Here are a few of the local trout derbies you can enter for very little to no out-of-pocket expense.
Fort Borst Park Pond, Centralia
For over 50 years the Centralia Lion Club has been holding their opening day juveniles’ only fishing derby, open to children up to 14 years of age, at Fort Borst Park Pond in Centralia. They know how to do it up right. There will not only be plenty of fish to go around, but plenty of prizes too.
Three bicycles, donated by the Riverside Fire Authority, Cabela’s has tossed in 35 fishing rods to the prize mix and Sunbird Shopping Center donated $200 of fishing gear.
The derby starts with registration at 9 a.m. Saturday morning and ends at noon, when the prizes will be distributed.
Over 3,000 rainbow trout have been growing in the local pond and haven’t seen a fishing line since lowland lakes closed Feb. 28. Borst Park Pond is a great bet for young opening day anglers.
Offut Lake Resort, Tenino
Fishing runs year-round at Offut Lake in Tenino, but Becky Pogue, owner of the Offut Lake Resort, likes to start the trout season off with a three-day trout derby to stir up some excitement over the water.
Offut Lake received a plant of 10,500 catchable-sized rainbow trout by Offut Lake Resort owners earlier this week. WDFW also released 196 rainbows averaging 1.5 lb. each just last week, plus 3,500 rainbows in March and 1,000 cutthroat in February.
The tournament is limited to Offut Lake Resort guests only — if you are camping, renting a boat from the resort or have paid your $5 for a daily dock pass, you only need to pay another $1 per day to enter the derby.
First prize is a Minn-Kota trolling motor and there are plenty of other prizes. The derby starts a day early, Friday, and runs through Sunday. The winner will be announced Sunday evening.
Go to the Offut Lake Resort website for more information, or call Becky Pogue, 360-264-2438.
Mineral Lake, Mineral
Mineral Lake is stocked and set for a big lunker show on Saturday. WDFW added to the 17,000 rainbows planted in February with another 10,000 rainbows, 687 triploids, 300 brood stock, and 2,500 brown trout.
The fishing frenzy at Mineral Lake begins one minute after midnight, early Saturday morning, for the 19th annual American Legion Storm King Post 171 Fishing Derby.
Neither rain, shine, sleet, snow, nor massive crowds keep the dedicated Mineral Lake Openers from the water. Here, I’ll prove it!
Derby tickets are $2 each and are available in Mineral. Buy as many tickets as you want to, you might win a raffle prize at the end of the day raffle drawing at 1:00 p.m.
See the Mineral Lake website for more information and to take a look at last year’s winning fish.
Other Local Lakes Worth a Try
Carlisle Lake, Onalaska, had 315 rainbow trout planted last week at an average of 1.5 lbs. each.
Davis Lake, Morton, had 372 triploids and 5,250 rainbows planted this month.
Plummer Lake, Centralia, has 294 new triploids and 6,000 rainbows in the latest plant. The word is they’re hungry for dough bait.
Silar Mill Pond, Morton, received 1,000 rainbow trout this month.
South Lewis County Park Pond, Toledo, has been fishing well. Two weeks ago, WDFW tossed another 3,000 rainbows into the bountiful mix of warm water fish offerings.
Swofford Pond, Mossyrock, is one of the finest ponds around, known for its beauty, variety of fish, amphibians (see below), bugs, birds, wildlife and hiking trail. Even if the fish aren’t biting, there’s always something about a day on Swofford Pond that just can’t be beat.
Even the frogs are friendly at Swofford, see?
Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer based in southwest Washington state and the founder of The (Almost) Daily News. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.