The Fishing Corner: Fishing seasons in transition on the Harbor

Mid-April fishing in Grays Harbor is generally considered a transition period. There is not a lot of full fledge fishing going on and so interest can wane somewhat.

The main fishery which is happening now has to do with the tail end of the 2012-2013 steelhead season. Some rivers to the north will close Monday, but several will stay open until the end of April. These select rivers will give anglers an opportunity to settle with a steelhead, all the while honoring the wild steelhead retention rules, which only allows a single fish for the entire season in designated rivers.

Locally, the Chehalis River will close for the season on Monday except for the year-round sturgeon fishery. When we get to this slack period of time, more anglers take to sturgeon fishing either by boat or at premium bank locations.

The next big attraction will be the ever-so-popular opening of lakes statewide on April 27. Actually, three of our local lakes were planted and tested in cooperation with the special spring break fishery. Vance Creek Pond No. 1 (Bowers Lake), Duck Lake, and Lake Sylvia were all planted with catchable sized trout for this special event. These fish, averaging 10-12 inches, were available last week.

While Vance Creek Pond No. 1 opened and closed for this window of time; Lake Sylvia and Duck Lake are year-round fisheries and currently open to fishing and accommodates some nice fish. It might be of interest to know that Vance Creek Pond No. 1 is known as Bowers Lake and Vance Creek Pond No. 2 is known as Lake Inez.

Pond No. 1 remains restricted to juvenile, and seniors or disabled anglers only. Pond No. 2 is open to general fishing when regulations allow.

Assuredly, the plant numbers will favor Lake Aberdeen, Failor Lake and Lake Sylvia in our region. I will address the actual numbers in my next writing; but anglers can expect these bodies of water to get the most numbers. Other plants will occur for some of our smaller bodies of water. It is safe to say the opener will have enough fish to make it worth the effort.

This particular time frame is often used by fisheries to re-organize themselves. Most of the fishing interest of the past had to do with bigger fish. Now, anglers need to re-think for smaller game fish. This means different tackle. Of course, this is not bad because it keeps anglers on top of the action which makes for more productive fishing.

By now, every angler is probably licensed properly. However, a reminder that Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife Sport Catch Record Cards are due to be returned by April 30, 2013, even if you did not fish or catch anything. These cards need to be returned to: WDFW CRL Unit 600 Capitol Way N. Olympia WA. 98501 - 1091.

Returned cards help evaluate and determine future fishing opportunities, they also address the halibut and crab catches to fresh water catches.