Out & About: Catch and release fishing spot-on in Spokane River

SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 2014

Spots show that anglers caught the same brown trout 16 months apart.
Spots show that anglers caught the same brown trout 16 months apart.

OUTCAST – Photos of a brown trout have helped verify the beauty of catch-and-release fishing regulations on the upper Spokane River.

A case in favor of the no-harvest rules was made this week by Sean Visintainer, guide and owner of Silver Bow Fly Shop.

“My buddy, Bob McConkey, and I were out on the upper Monday night and caught a couple really nice browns on dry flies,” said Visintainer, who fishes the Spokane River regularly with and without clients.

“Bob’s brown looked awfully similar to a fish that one of my guides caught when we were floating two Februarys ago. I matched up the pics – same brown!”

Fish biologists say trout caught in cool water with flies or lures, which usually aren’t swallowed by the fish, can survive being caught many times in their lives. It’s especially important that they be quickly released, preferably with little handling, squeezing or being dropped on a hard surface.

“We had fished through this area numerous times since the first time the fish was caught but had not caught it again until this week,” Visintainer said. “It was pretty much in the same area.”

Turnbull swans shift nest sites

OUTBROOD – Trumpeter Swans at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge are on a different family plan this year.

Although the large swans have hatched broods as early as Father’s Day in recent years, a pair was still on a nest this week, said Mike Rule, refuge biologist. And for the first time, they’re nesting on Blackhorse Lake.

The swans that have been on a nest for about three weeks might be the pair that hatched cygnets on Middle Pine last year, when the refuge had two nesting pairs, he said.

Blackhorse is on the auto tour route and is accessible by a boardwalk.

“There’s a pair in Cheever Lake but I’m not sure they are going to nest,” he said. “We have seen a few other trumpeters this spring. Five were seen on Blackhorse on June 19.

“We were hoping for a third nest this year but may end up with only one.”

Impaired boaters targeted

OUTLAW – Washington state and local marine patrols are scheduled to be out in force this weekend looking for drug- or alcohol-impaired boaters.

Boating under the influence is the top factor in fatal boating accidents.

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