Mild weather good for fishing opener

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SPOKANE - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife weekly recreation report predicts good fishing for Eastern Washington anglers with Monday's opener this year.

For the first time in several years, the Monday opener should find open water fishing opportunities around the region, thanks to an abnormally mild winter.

In the south end of the region most of the seven impoundments off the Tucannon River on WDFW's Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County that open to fishing Monday are being stocked now with hatchery rainbow trout. Beaver, Big Four, Blue, Deer, Rainbow, Spring and Watson lakes are receiving "catchable-size" (about one-third pound) and "jumbo" (about one-and-a-half pound) trout from the Tucannon and Lyons Ferry fish hatcheries.

Here are the waters and numbers of stock: Beaver, 500 catchables; Big Four, 2,000 catchables and 300 jumbos; Blue, 4,500 catchables and 150 jumbos; Deer, 700 catchables; Rainbow, 3,000 catchables and 100 jumbos; Spring, 2,000 catchables and 100 jumbos; Watson, 3,000 catchables and 100 jumbos.

Also opening Monday for stocked rainbow fishing is Fishhook Pond in Walla Walla County, which is receiving 3,000 catchables this month, and Pampa Pond in Whitman County, which is receiving 2,000 catchables and 25 jumbos.

In Walla Walla County, two year-round fisheries are scheduled to receive trout this month - Quarry Pond, 8,000 catchables and 100 jumbos, and Bennington Lake 2,500 catchables and 50 jumbos.

When WDFW hatchery crews complete trout stocking, the results are posted at wdfw.wa.gov/fish/plants/weekly/.

Steelhead fishing on the Grande Ronde River in the southeast has been excellent, according to WDFW Blue Mountains Wildlife Area Complex Manager Bob Dice. Steelheaders in the Boggan's Oasis area and near the mouth at the Snake River, have been doing quite well, he says, and fishing has also been good from WDFW lands in the Shumaker area.

Anglers can gear up and learn about fishing opportunities at the third annual Great Western Sportfishing Show, March 5-7, at the Spokane Convention Center. For more information see http://www.greatwesternsportfishingshow.com/Home.html.

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