Bluegills arrive at Sprague Lake

Sprague Lake is in a transition this year as it’s weaned from a lunker trout fishery and emerging as a hot spot for bass and panfish.

Bluegills that were in the range of 8-9 inches last year are expected to show up in angler-pleasing sizes this year with even better bluegill fishing expected down the road a few years, said Chris Donley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries manager.

Donley is the biologist who orchestrated the major rehab of the lake’s fishery in 2007.

“The lake has produced some huge rainbows, but the plan all along was to manage Sprague with an intermediate trout fishery on the way to creating a bass and bluegill fishery,” he said.

“It takes quite a few years to build a bluegill fishery, even in a lake that productive. The fish are there in some good sizes this year; the big question is how many.

“Adult bluegills tend to be off shore away from where we do our fall electroshocking, so we don’t have a good idea of how many are in the lake.”

Anglers shouldn’t wait for somebody else to find out.

“If you don’t catch a lot of bluegills right off, go for bass,” Donley said. “The lake has some beautiful largemouths; lots of in the 1-pound range with some up to 4, 5 and even 6 pounds.”

The lake also holds channel catfish and crappie and still gets a dose of trout that bulk up quickly.

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus

Rich Landers

Rich Landers

More Outdoors Columns »
More Outdoors Blog Posts »

Most recent column

Landers: Huckleberry season has pickers bursting with excitement

The 2000 Idaho Legislature declared huckleberries the state fruit. But like potatoes, Washington has its share of the delicious purple berries prized for pies, pancakes, muffins, ice cream, jam, wine and just about anything else that needs a touch of tart sweetness. The huckleberry season …

Recent blog posts

Outdoors Calendar

Submit Your Event »

Outdoors Photography

More SR Photo Galleries »
More Reader Photos »





Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801