Washington State Trout Season officially opened on April 23 when the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife kicked-off the 2022 Trout Derby. The iconic Lake Sylvia State Park, located above the historic town of Montesano, is one of many participating lakes across Washington. Fourteen tagged fish have been placed there in preparation for the annual Derby, each with a unique prize that can be redeemed through the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Trout Derby page. Lake Sylvia is open year-round for fishing and is well-stocked with both rainbow trout and steelhead, which can be seen here on the Fishing and Stocking Reports. According to the stocking report, this lake gets a lot of big fish. The number of fish per pound is how to determine the size of the fish planted. 1.0 fish per pound equals a 1-pound trout, the smaller the number, the larger the fish.

fishermen posed by Lake Sylvia
Jess Caldwell meets with Park Ranger Nick Schwalb to learn about the history of Lake Sylvia State Park. Photo credit: Jess Caldwell

“This year we have over 800 prizes available totaling $37,000 in value thanks to the generous donations from our statewide license dealers and other local businesses” shares Tom Ryle, WDFW marketing manager. “People have the opportunity to win some fantastic prizes while enjoying time fishing with friends and family.”

Jess Caldwell prepares a sunset dinner on the shoreline of Lake Sylvia.
Jess Caldwell prepares a sunset dinner on the shoreline of Lake Sylvia. Photo credit: Jess Caldwell

Grays Harbor County has five other participating lakes and now is a perfect time to visit and hopefully get lucky while there are prizes to be won:

Set in a former logging camp and with exceptional beauty, Lake Sylvia State Park offers hiking and some of the best opportunities for mountain biking in Western Washington. Visitors can rent canoes and kayaks and the lake is popular for swimming in the summer. The park is wooded with 252 acres of camping in lush foliage. Bald eagles nest in the towering trees as the fishing is good here. Scott Jones from Central Park has been fishing Lake Sylvia for 45 years. He raised his kids fishing here and the family still returns to enjoy the nostalgia of the park. He often drops a line off the bridge using a bobber, split shot weight, and an 18-inch leader on a 6-pound fishing line. The secret to his success is PowerBait and worms. “It’s been a lot of fun fishing here since they started stocking with steelhead,” explains Scott.

Photo credit: Jess Caldwell

June 11 and 12 is the Free Fishing Weekend, when fishing licenses are not required for anyone to fish in Washington State. Also not required for this annual event is a Vehicle Access Pass, a Discover Pass or a Two-Pole Endorsement. Now is an excellent time to book a camping reservation and mark the calendar to access this popular fishing weekend in June. Enjoy a local getaway filled with outdoor activities and opportunities to connect with nature.


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