By Jana Mathia
Gazette Editor 

Spring fishing, hunting options


WHITMAN COUNTY – With the ban on hunting and fishing lifted May 5, sportsmen are already able to finally get outdoors to engage yet again in the struggle of man versus nature.

This time of year, the most plentiful option is for fisherman with five county waterbodies already stocked or scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout.

Rock Lake is the largest year-round water body in the county. Located northwest of St. John, it was scheduled for catchable trout plants in May and October, but has not received any yet according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

A popular spot along SR 26 just west of LaCrosse, Pampa Pond was stocked in February, twice in March and once in April. WDFW Game Warden Grant Silver said he has already caught people fishing at the location despite the restrictions. The usual season for Pampa Pond is March 1 through Sept. 30.

Garfield Pond is only for juveniles 14 and younger to fish. It was stocked April 29 with more than 2,000 trout, 25 of which WDFW label as 'jumbo.' This year round pond is located between Elberton and Garfield off the south side of Elberton Road.

Gilchrist Pond received its stock of 1,000 rainbow trout April 16. The pond is located on property owned by the Gilchrist family on Upper Union Flat Road. Fishing is open to the public for those with fishing licenses.

Riparia Pond was stocked March 11 with 500 catchable trout and 25 jumbo trout. It is located next to the Snake River in the vicinity of Riparia Recreation Area and Little Goose Dam.

There is only one option for spring hunting in the Game Management Units (GMU) that make up Whitman County. Spring turkey season is open until the end of the month, May 31. Hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset during spring seasons. Hunt is for male turkeys and turkeys with visible beards only. According to WDFW Spring Season pamphlet, only two turkeys may be taken in eastern Washington. Additional turkey tags may be purchased at any time. In appropriate areas, two turkeys can be harvested in one day. Spring turkey season is open for shotgun, bow-and-arrow and crossbow hunting only.


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