FISHING — About 155,000 catchable-size rainbow trout are being stocked into Lake Spokane in the first season of a 10-year agreement between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Avista Utilities.
Lake Spokane, sometimes called Long Lake, is the Spokane River reservoir west of Spokane, created by Avista’s Long Lake Dam.
While the reservoir is popular among anglers fishing for bass, crappie and perch, trout fishing will improve with the annual stocking of rainbows, each about 8 inches long and expected to grow quickly.
The stocking already has begun with trout from the state’s Spokane Fish Hatchery and Trout Lodge, Inc. in Soap Lake. The fish are sterile so they cannot reproduce with native fish in the river system. They are marked with clipped adipose fins for ease of monitoring harvest through creel surveys that will begin in 2016.
WDFW district fish biologist Randy Osborne and Avista Environmental Specialist Tim Vore thank members of the Spokane Fly Fishers and Inland Empire Fly Fishing clubs for volunteering time to the trout stocking program.
“Avista has long been providing public fishing and boating opportunities,” said Vore, “but this is an excellent new opportunity to fish and enjoy Lake Spokane.”
Randy Osborne, the state’s district fish biologist, says anglers can expect the trout to be down in the cooler water of the reservoir this summer, and therefore more conducive to boat fishing.
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But this fall and next spring, when the stocked trout are bigger, casting near the surface off of the docks or public shorelines will also be productive.