Sprague’s west end restricted

Anglers will have new rules to observe after May 1 as they pursue the still-developing fishery at Sprague Lake.

Surviving rainbow trout stocked after the 2007 lake rehabilitation have grown and weigh around 6 pounds.

Other sizes of rainbow are coming on this year. A class of Lahontan cutthroats will be 3 years old and interested in anglers’ lures for the first time. More channel cats and largemouth bass will be showing in the fishery.

“It will take a couple more years for the bluegills, catfish and largemouth bass to show up much,” said Chris Donley, district biologist.

Fishing at Sprague Lake will be prohibited southwest of Harper Island from Oct. 1 through April 30 to protect the west end of the lake as a wildlife reserve for migrating birds. Starting May 1, a 50-foot no-fishing buffer will be established around the island.

Despite the restrictions on fishing, the new rules currently do not prevent boats with combustible engines from going west of the island year-round.

The Fish and Wildlife Commission lacks authority to regulate boating. State officials are working with Adams County on possible boating restrictions west of Harper Island to match fishing rules.

Still in effect is year-round closure to fishing inside the emergent weed line southwest of the island.

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