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A new batch of trout
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Service completed its massive fall planting of jumbo rainbow trout in Kitsap and Island lake. Crews released thousands of the fish into their new homes beginning Oct. 14. They hope that the creation of artificial fisheries will keep people coming back for more.
"It's a recreational opportunity. Our funding comes from [fishing] license sales, which is an important part of our financial base," said Mark Downen, district fish biologist.
Downen explained that a healthy population of fish are infused into popular fishing spots in the fall and spring during months when the temperatures are cooler.
Cooler temperatures lead to lower fishing efforts and dwindling activity. The introduction of a lively new batch stimulates recreation.
"It is purely a recreational opportunity," said Downen.
Downen explained that generally most of the fish introduced in the fall are fished out by the spring.
Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists monitor the growth rate of 'carryovers,' those fish that are not angled and survive into the next season to make sure that there is no adverse impact on the ecology.
"If you were putting a lot of fish in the lake, you'd have a detrimental effect. But there is very high growth rate in carryovers. They are thriving," said Downen.
Fish and Wildlife are also conducting general surveys on Kitsap and Island lakes.
In general, Kitsap Lake receives a low density of larger fish for more experienced anglers. Though there are less fish in the overall population, they are larger in size and more mature. According to Downen, this type of fish is ideal for the more experienced angler.
Island Lake has opening day fisheries which means a larger density of smaller trout.
"It's a casual experience that is better for families and children," said Downen.
However, constant requests for larger fish by Island Lake fisherman is causing the service to reevaluate their Kitsap distribution for the spring.