Weekend angling made easy with free fishing
Thursday, June 7, 2012
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Weekender is filled with useful information about enjoying the outdoors this summer. It discusses leads for anglers on several game fish, and highlights Saturday and Sunday, which is Free Fishing Weekend statewide.
What about the Discover Pass and vehicle-access passes?
Forget about them. They’re not required this weekend, either.
According to WDFW North Central Regional Fish Program manager Jeff Korth, the weekend is an opportunity to bring an unlicensed buddy along on a fishing trip.
You know those friends who you want to share the outdoors experience with? Maybe they would like to try fishing, but are not eager enough to spring for the state-issued fishing license, which is valid into next year. Those are the friends this weekend is designed for.
The fun in the experience comes from sharing all you know about fishing, so let the good times roll as your new fishing friend starts in with all the questions that only you, an expert, can answer.
They may wonder about the different species and how they might catch one to bring home, or maybe just take advantage of a quick photo opportunity.
The more important points to consider are when you need to remind them about regulations — rules that cover restrictions on gear, rivers and streams, catch limits and sizes, and species and dates to remember. Your friend may even ask about triploid rainbow trout and where those babies come from. Where does “the expert” begin on all this information?
Thankfully, the rules can all be found in the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, which, when picked up, feels more like a step-by-step manual for assembling a Black Hawk helicopter.
But the WDFW does not circulate those pamphlets to intimidate would-be anglers. They encourage the public to get out on the water and give fishing a try. The weekend angler, and even his or her buddy, should find the pamphlet easy to use. For straightforward limits on fish, simply reference the pamphlet’s section on the body of water you are fishing.
Hunters, too, can get the lowdown on some important information. Those who applied for special big-game hunt permits for this fall can check WDFW’s website later this month to find out if they were chosen, or they can wait until the middle of July when the winners will be notified by mail.
Until the hunting of wildlife begins, the WDFW gives some tips on viewing the precious moments springtime has to offer.
This time of year, baby animals are sure to draw attention from bird watchers, outdoor enthusiasts and gawkers all around.
It is important to remember basic safety and survival skills when feasting the eyes on the tender morsels of the new animals that cohabit the region. Check them out from a distance, for one. Also, sometimes it’s best to leave wildlife alone.
“Well-meaning people come across a baby animal and think it’s abandoned and needs rescuing, so they pick it up and bring it to us,” said WDFW Regional Wildlife Program manager Matt Monda. “Most of the time it’s not abandoned, doesn’t need help and is best left in the wild.”
Of course, one must also consider “nuisance animals” that take up residence in places you don’t want them.
This weekend is a good opportunity to explore the outdoors and investigate all the fish and wildlife you can. And if the triploid question comes up, remember to approach it delicately. The fish are bred and hatched in fisheries under controlled conditions. The eggs are manipulated to retain three sets of chromosomes and live a sterile life.
Or simply explain that they’ll learn when they’re older.
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