The Trail Blazers, a volunteer group for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), formed in 1933. In those days, they would attach a five gallon milk can to a Trapper Nelson backpack. They stocked the lakes with thousands of fish without taking into consideration the overall sustainability of the food for that many fish and overpopulation concerns.
It didn’t take the WDFW long to figure out their oversight, cutting back on the number of fish stocked all the way into the 1970s. Even today the lakes are constantly adjusted as more knowledge is gained.
Before 1933 there were few lakes being stocked. If they were stocked, then it was usually by miners or small local groups of fisherman.
Brian Curtis joined the Trail Blazers in 1987, when he took his love for hiking and fishing to the WDFW volunteer organization. He has packed in as few as 20 fish to a high lake, and has been a part of a group carrying 5,000 fish. The amount of fish vary based on the size of the lake or the productivity of the lake. Productivity would be things like food for fish and how many people are reaching the lake to fish it.
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