2024 Fish Derby underway; 10 local lakes stocked with prize fish

The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife launched the lowland lakes season over the weekend, and with that, the statewide Trout Derby with several local lakes included in the contest.

10 local lakes are included in the 2024 Trout Derby:

Grays Harbor County

Pacific County

Trout Derby lakes with unclaimed prizes

Anglers with a current fishing license can take part in trout fishing in hundreds of lowland lakes throughout the season, with a chance at winning one of more than 800 trout derby prizes along with their catch.

The annual trout derby kick-off coincided with the lowland lakes season opener. 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) stocks millions of trout in lakes throughout the year, and opening day marks the first time people can fish many of those lakes for the catchable trout planted every winter and spring. 

Anglers can visit WDFW’s website to see which lakes have been stocked in recent weeks and can sort by county or waterbody to find a nearby stocked lake.

WDFW planted over 14.5 million trout and kokanee across Washington in the past year. The catchable-size trout averages 2.5 fish per pound, or 12 to 14 inches. There are also nearly 143,000 jumbo trout that measure more than 14 inches, averaging one to 1.5 pounds. Most jumbo trout are planted in March and April, with others saved for fall planting.

Depending on the lake, people may encounter rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, kokanee salmon, and other fish species. 

Visit WDFW’s fish stocking webpage for information, including the 2024 statewide hatchery trout and kokanee stocking plan and recent catchable trout plant reports.

This year, the annual statewide trout derby boasts more than 800 donated prizes worth over $42,000 in total, which anglers can claim by catching tagged trout in lakes across Washington. More than 100 lakes will feature prize fish in 2024. 

The derby website will be updated to include a list of lakes containing tagged fish. The derby runs through Oct. 31.

“The trout derby is a very popular activity for Washington anglers of all ages and backgrounds,” said Steve Caromile, inland fish program manager with WDFW. “The hard work of fish and hatchery staff along with the generosity of our vendors has made the trout derby something anglers look forward to each year.”

To participate in the opener and the derby, Washington anglers must have a valid resident or non-resident 2024 Get Outdoors package, annual freshwater, annual Fish WA, annual combination, or temporary combination license. 

2024 Trout Derby

How it works:

    Check the list of all 2024 trout Derby lakes to find one near you.
    Winning derby trout will have a yellow tag attached near their fin. Keep the tag! You will need it to claim your prize.
    Enter the tag number listed on the side of the derby tag, the lake you caught it in, the date it was caught, and your contact information.
  4. WIN BIG
    Take your tag to the business location you were provided and claim your derby prize!
    Take a photo of yourself and your winning derby trout to share on social media. #watroutderby