If shopping is the last thing you’d like to do on the day after Thanksgiving, you might consider going fishing instead.
State fishery officials would prefer you cast a line rather than stand in one, so they planted some bigger than usual hatchery fish in a few designated lakes to attract people to fall fishing.
The fish that were planted a few days before the holiday were bigger than the average hatchery plants in the spring. The rainbow trout should average 15 to 16 inches, said Steve Caromile, inland fisheries program manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“The fish are usually only 11 or 12 inches when they are planted in March and April,” Caromile said. “That gives them another six months or so to grow.”
The plants in the selected lakes won’t be as large in numbers as they typically are in the spring, but the larger fish should give anglers something to look for.
The lakes in Snohomish County, selected by regional biologist Justin Spinelli, include Lake Tye in Monroe, Lake Ballinger in Mountlake Terrace, Silver Lake in Everett, and Twin Lakes in Marysville.
Cranberry Lake in Skagit County also will receive a few bigger fish and is a good place to try your luck.
Caromile said his agency has been conducting the program on Black Friday in some parts of the state for the past few years to encourage people to go fishing in the fall.
“It’s a big draw for some people,” he said. “A lot of people aren’t into Black Friday and would rather take their kids out fishing.”
Spinelli said the program is new in Snohomish County and he is hoping it will get more people interested in fishing in the fall.
“It would be nice if we can develop a fishery,” he said.
Anglers ages 15 and older need a fishing license to participate. It should also be noted that many lakes closed on Oct. 31. The lakes participating in the fall fishery remain open.
Twin Lakes (16324 Twin Lakes Road, Marysville) — Also known as Gissberg Ponds, the Twin Lakes were made during the construction of Interstate 5 and are just west of I-5 at Smokey Point Exit 206. The lakes are often used for kids fishing programs and the lake to the north is just for kids. The bigger fish will be stocked in the southern pond so everyone can fish for them. Spinelli said there will be about a 1,000 fish stocked in the southern pond. Spinelli said the lakes are linked so the fish eventually will find their way to both ponds.
Silver Lake (11405 Silver Lake Road, Everett) — The 99-acre lake is a popular fishing location for kids and home to the Everett Salmon and Steelhead Club’s Kid’s Fish-in each spring. There is no public boat launch, but you can easily launch a small boat along the southeast corner of the lake. There is also a fair amount of shoreline access to the lake, but a small boat will help to find the fish.
Lake Tye (23000 Lake View Drive, Monroe) — This man-made lake on the west side of Monroe is located in a park just off Highway 2. The 49-acre lake in a nice setting is popular with families. It, too, hosts a kid’s fish-in each spring.
Lake Ballinger — Located in Mountlake Terrace near Edmonds, Lake Ballinger is 101 acres and has a boat launch on the east side. It also has a 42-acre park.
Cranberry Lake — Located in Deception Pass park in Skagit County, Cranberry is a good bet because it has some nice brown trout that are a good complement with the bigger hatchery rainbows. The year-round lake has a small pier on the east shore and an undeveloped gravel boat launch on the northwest corner. There’s some shore access, but a small boat is a better bet.