FISHING -- The Spokane area's two winter fishing trout lakes open on Wednesday. The fish are there, but the conditions are iffy.
The waters are Fourth of July Lake just south of Sprague and Hog Canyon Lake off I-90's Fishtrap exit.
Fourth of July's east end has about two iches of ice with a lot of snowy insulation coming down on top of it today. The west end of the lake still had open water as of Monday.
Chris Donley, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist said some anglers will probably try out the ice, but he wouldn't.
I have no firm report on Hog Canyon, but it will take a few heroes in chained up four-wheel drives to break trail in to find out.
Lake Roosevelt, a year-round fishery that's particularly hot for large trout in November and December, is the clear favorite for catching fish, but beware that the boat ramps have been very icy from the dripping of boats coming out of the water. Boaters who pull the bilge plugs and let their boats drain as the pull up the ramp contribute to the icing.
But shore fishing at Roosevelt areas such as Seven Bays is a great option.