Hundreds of thousands of trout being trucked across Washington for transfer from hatcheries into lakes will be vulnerable to poaching until the season opens April 22.
About 10,000 trout are scheduled for drop-off at Cottage Lake, a popular fishing spot in Woodinville.
"It's shoulder to shoulder. Opening day, it's standing room only here," Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Kim Chandler said.
Chandler is one of the enforcement officers tasked with monitoring the water. Seasonal lakes like Cottage Lake are closed for fishing until April 22.
For the next few weeks they're stocked with trout.
"We go constantly from lake to lake to lake responding to phone calls for illegal fishing, closed season fishing. Folks need to read these regulations," he said. "This is an equal opportunity fishery here. So, everybody has to go by the same rules. Those fish aren't going to be available later on if someone catches them all."
Several hundred truckloads of trout will soon make their way to lakes across the state. Some people don't know the rules. Others like to break them.
"This time of year, officers all over the state are going from lake to lake to lake in these closed season lakes. It's a big deal," Chandler said. "Every body of water has different regulations. It's really important to read those regulations."