Fishin’ days are here again and calendars are starting to fill with good stuff to do in the trout and salmon line. One such date of note is the fourth running of the increasingly popular Lake Stevens Kokanee Derby, scheduled for May 18, and boasting a first-place cash prize of $1,000. That spot was taken last year by Ryan Hansen, with a kokanee weighing 1.43 pounds.
The second-largest koke is worth $500, third $250, and fourth $100. Other cash awards go to the largest trout, largest kokanee limit (up to 10 fish), largest kokanee by an active duty military member and by a Gamefishin.com member.
The adult entry fee is $20, but kids 14 and under fish free, also for cash prizes. The first-place kid’s fish (worth $100) must be a kokanee, but second and third can be any species caught in Lake Stevens the day of the derby. Last year’s second- and third-place kids’ winners were both smallmouth bass of 3-4 pounds.
The derby is sponsored by the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club and the Lake Stevens Lions. Tickets are on sale at Greg’s Custom Rods, John’s Sporting Goods, Ted’s Sport Center, Triangle Bait &Tackle, Three Rivers Marine, McDaniel’s Do It Center, and Holiday Sports.
Also coming up, on April 20, is the annual kokanee seminar at Greg’s Custom Rods &Tackle in Lake Stevens (12405 20th St. N.E.). The seminar starts at 10 a.m. Noted local fishing guide John Thomas of Snohomish will tell participants all they need to know to fish successfully for kokanee in Lake Stevens. If you plan to fish the derby but aren’t all that experienced on Lake Stevens, the seminar should be your first stop. It’s free, but space is limited and reservations are required. Call 425-335-1391 to save your seat.
The 26th annual Stanwood Eagles Blackmouth Derby takes place April 20-21 in Marine Areas 8-1 and 8-2, with a $50 entry fee and a first-place cash prize of 45 percent of the total entries. The top fish last year (21.07 pounds) was caught by Jody Erickson and was worth $2,205.
Tickets are on sale at Stanwood Eagles, Ted’s Sport Center, Holiday Sports, John’s Sporting Goods, Camano Marine and Elger Bay Store.
For more information, call Stanwood Eagles at 360-629-3224, or Ed Keller at 425-308-9437.
The hugely popular kids’ free trout fishing day at Lake Tye in Monroe runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 28 and offers lots of fun prizes. The lake lies on the west side of town, on Fryelands Boulevard, and the event is open to youngsters 12 and under.
The fish will be in a netted area at the south end of the lake, readily available to young anglers and there will be fishing tackle available for those without their own.
Following the kids’ event, there will be an adult derby from 2-5 p.m. with a cash prize of $250 for the largest trout and a bonus prize of $500 for anyone catching a special tagged fish. The entry fee for the adult derby is $10. The Sponsor, the Sky Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, is buying $5,000 worth of trout for the event, including a percentage of trophy rainbows to over 10 pounds.
Any questions, contact Gary Bee at 206-818-2991 or Jeff Shirley at 425-359-7756.
Give the kid his due
When you’re a young, beginning angler and you catch a derby-winning salmon, it’s a big deal. Or should be.
Reader Joe Stephanson noticed that one of those unfortunate organizational mistakes popped up at the Anacortes Derby and the wrong name was assigned to the winning youth-division fish when derby results were sent out. Organizers caught it, later, and corrected it, but here for the record is the name of the first-place fisherman in the youth division of the 2013 Anacortes Salmon Derby: Isaiah Bell of Marysville, take a bow.
A coastal razor clam dig continues through this weekend as follows: today, minus 0.4 feet at 7:57 a.m. on Twin Harbors beaches only; Friday, minus 0.4 feet at 8:34 a.m. on all beaches except Kalaloch; Saturday, minus 0.2 feet at 9:11 a.m. at all beaches except Kalaloch; and Sunday, plus 0.1 feet at 9:49 a.m. on all beaches except Kalaloch.
The best fishing remains on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A check by state personnel Sunday at Olson’s Resort in Sekiu showed 15 anglers in six boats with 11 chinook. In a related note, the state has cut the clipped-chinook limit in the San Juans from two fish to one for the final three weeks of the season, citing the fact that the number of chinook either kept or released has exceeded preseason projections of state-tribal management plans. According to preliminary estimates, anglers had kept or released 4,976 chinook in Marine Area 7 as of April 7
Anglers fishing in the area must release any chinook not fin-clipped. However, since some released wild chinook do not survive, they are counted toward the management guideline of 4,284 total encounters with legal-size chinook during the fishery.
The “wade in” at Rockport on the Skagit River on Saturday to publicize demands by sport steelheaders that the state start considering a reinstatement of catch-and-release fishing on big, springtime, wild-stock fish on the upper Skagit and Sauk, drew a large and enthusiastic crowd. Retired state biologist and steelhead expert Curt Kraemer of Marysville estimated the number at about 80, well over expectations on a gray, wet day.
Next up, Kraemer said, is testimony Saturday at the Olympia meeting of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission, 8:30 a.m. in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building. Kraemer said three members of the informal steelhead group “Occupy Skagit” will testify, but he invites anyone sympathetic to the once world-class fishery to attend the meeting in support.
For more outdoor news, read Wayne Kruse’s blog at www.heraldnet.com/huntingandfishing.