The WDFW has decided to hold a statewide trout fishing derby, complete with prizes!
The rules seem pretty straightforward – go out fishing. If you catch a fish with a tag, then save the tag. Call 360-902-2464 with the tag number, and they will tell you how to claim your prize.
There is $20,000 in prizes, and 700+ tagged fish. If you do the math that means the average tagged fish will give you a prize worth about $28 – not bad.
The derby starts on the lowland lakes opening day, April 23rd, and ends on Labor Day, September 6th.
There are 105 lakes with tagged fish, which means just under 7 tagged fish per lake – assuming an even distribution. Eyeballing the list of lakes it seems like each county has at least 1 lake with tagged fish.
I didn’t count up the number of fish being stocked in those lakes, but my mental guesstimates came out around 1 tagged fish per 2-3 thousand stocked.
So odds are pretty low. I normally catch and released several hundred trout each year from some of the lakes on the list, and I rate my personal chances of getting a tagged fish around 0.5%. So not enough to really impact how much and where I go fishing, but something to be a nice treat if it happens.
Reading the fine print it sounds like most of the prizes are gift cards.
If you normally do catch and release, it would be a good idea to come prepared with something that can cut off the tag – or keep the fish. Just in case you need proof.
See here for complete derby information and rules.
Wish you all the best of luck. In any of you catch a tagged fish, please come back here and share what the prize was.