FISHING — Next year’s fishing season looks bright at Curlew Lake in Ferry County. About 20 volunteers helped the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department introduce 170,000 rainbow trout, 4-5 inches long, delivered last month to the a net pen tended by the Curlew Lake Association.
Hatchery trucks deposited the fish in predator-proof floating net pens local volunteers constructed and tended from pontoon boats. The fish were allowed to acclimate. Then the nets were slowly towed to the middle of the lake and released where they have a better chance of surviving their initial swim into Curlew without getting ambushed by bass and other predators.
In addition, the volunteers raise about 57,000 rainbow fry from the Spokane Fish Hatchery in net pens near Tiffany’s Resort. The fish are received in May and released in November as 9 inchers with even more capability of avoiding predation. The fish grow about a half inch a month, according to tagging studies facilitated by local volunteers.
Those fish are available to anglers now, but they’ll be about a foot long when anglers start showing up with big expectations in April and even larger for the summer crowds.
The Curlew Lake Association is doing great things for the local community and anglers far and wide by cleaning those pens, tending the fish and other lake improvement projects during the year. They welcome new active volunteers. Info: Bobbi Weller, association president, (509) 755-3690.