FISHING – The April 1 fishing season opener at many lakes in the Columbia Basin indicates that anglers are still paying a price for the long, cold, wet spring of 2011.
That’s not to say this year has been much better, so far.
The number of anglers out for the opener was down throughout the Basin, with NO anglers observed at the Pillar-Wideon chain of lakes near Potholes Reservoir.
March 1 was the opener for most selective fishery waters in Eastern Washington. Most Spokane area lowland trout production lakes open for fishing on April 28.
At Dry Falls Lake, a spring favorite for fly fishermen, rain followed by high winds kept all by the most dedicated opening day anglers off the water.
Those who persisisted for three-five hours caught and released an average of five fish, said Chad Jackson, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife District biologist. Trout size ranged from 10-20 inches.
Yearling trout, however, showed signs of last year’s shorter growing season, Jackson said.
”Yearlings should easily; be 12-14 inches by the opener instead of 10-12 inches,” he said. ” Smaller yearling trout size has been observed in other lakes in the Basin this year. Over the next couple months these trout should grow to a nicer size.”