The Washington Department of Fish (WDFW) has some great ideas for people planning family vacations this year - and all of them involve fishing.
Great Getaways, a new feature on the department's website, showcases some of the state's best family travel and fishing opportunities, from the Pacific Coast and the Columbia River to the trout lakes of the Selkirk Mountains.
"Washington doesn't just have some of the best fishing in the country, it also has some of the most diverse, family-friendly vacation spots," said Chris Donley, manager of the department's inland fish program.
Profiles of 14 vacation destinations provide vacation planners tips on where to go, what to catch, and where to stay. Each article includes links to state parks, public campgrounds, and nearby visitor information services.
"This new feature is designed for both Washington residents and visitors from outside the state," said Bruce Botka, WDFW's community outreach and public affairs manager. "I've lived in Washington for more than 30 years, and I know our readers will discover fishing, camping, and vacation opportunities they didn't know about before."
Botka noted that the department recently joined the Washington Tourism Alliance and is increasing its efforts to promote travel and vacation opportunities in communities throughout the state.
"Recreation-based tourism is a major contributor to the state's economy, and WDFW's programs are a major contributor to outdoor recreation," he said.
Donley said the new guide will be expanded in coming months with new ideas for fishing-based vacations that offer a wide range of other opportunities for outdoor recreation.
"We aren't trying to give away anyone's favorite fishing hole," Donley said. "There are plenty of fish throughout the state, and plenty of great places to catch them."
To start planning this year's vacations, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/vacation/ .