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Go Fishing 2013

A guide to fishing lakes and streams in the Inland Northwest, including a map of the region’s fishing waters and a guide to fishing with kids.

Limit intake of river fish, states say

SALEM – Health officials in Oregon and Washington said Monday that people should protect themselves against mercury and PCB contamination by limiting consumption of certain fish species from a 150-mile section of the Columbia River. The Oregon Health Authority and the Washington Department of Health said people should eat no more than one meal a week of resident fish – those that live year-round in the same place – between Bonneville and McNary dams. Resident species in the Columbia include bass, bluegill, yellow perch, crappie, walleye, carp, catfish, suckers and sturgeon.
A hefty 15-inch rainbow caught in Baldy Lake in the Seven Devils. (Rich Landers)

Some Seven Devils lakes stocked with trout

Trout are stocked in about two dozen named lakes and a few unnamed waters in the Seven Devils Mountains of the Hells Canyon Wilderness, but some lakes are not stocked because they have natural reproduction, are too shallow or other factors. West-side lakes that drain into Sheep and Granite Creeks and ultimately the Snake River generally are stocked with rainbows, which are native to the drainage, said Joe DuPont, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager in Lewiston.
Eric Stein, former EWU football kicker, nets a steelhead for his 15-year-old son on the Klickitat. The boat is ugly, but results aren’t. (SCOTT SANDSBERRY)

Father, son steelheaders have method to their madness

In a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein, it’s said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. By that standard, you might watch Eric Stein, 47, of Yakima and his 15-year-old son, Brian, on a steelhead fishing trip and question their sanity.

The forecast has been reduced for hatchery steelhead returning to the Snake River. (Associated Press)

Steelhead counts down but salmon numbers up in Snake River

The annual return of A-run steelhead to the Snake River and its tributaries, normally the most reliable of Idaho’s anadromous fish runs, won’t tickle the record books this year. Just like the spring chinook run that preceded it, the steelhead return is showing signs of not living up to preseason predictions. A regional group of salmon and steelhead managers recently downgraded the run forecast by 27 percent.

Field reports: Washington proposes fishing rule changes

FISHING – Sportfishing rule changes proposed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will be explained in a public meeting starting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 3 at the agency’s regional office, 2315 N. Discovery Place in Spokane Valley. Public comments will be accepted through Oct. 31.
A pink – or humpback – salmon caught by Vladimir Veliovski of Pacific, Wash., flops on the beach Aug. 4 before Veliovski can get his hands on it. About 50 fishermen were catching pinks from shore and pier at Dash Point Park. Tacoma News Tribune (Tacoma News Tribune / The Spokesman-Review)

Field reports: Pink salmon flood into Puget Sound

FISHING – More than 6.2 million pink salmon are surging into Puget Sound this month in their return that occurs on odd-numbered years, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Anglers in the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Neah Bay to Port Angeles have been scoring big numbers of pinks for two weeks. Recently the run has progressed into the south to treat both bank and boat anglers all the way to Seattle, said Steve Thiesfeld, the state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound salmon manager.
Idaho’s largest legally caught rainbow trout was landed below Dworshak Dam in 2013, but the 28-pound, 9-ounce fish isn’t an official record. Nez Perce member Tui Moliga of Lapwai legally caught the lunker under tribal rules. But the North Fork Clearwater was closed to nontribal harvest of rainbows over 20 inches, so it didn’t qualify for state-record status. (courtesy)

Lunker trout a record of sorts

A monster trout legally harvested by a Lapwai man would crush the existing Idaho state record providing the fish is determined to be a pure rainbow trout. But even if a genetic test proves the fish is a rainbow and not a Kamloops, differences between state and tribal fishing rules will keep him from entering the record book.

Kokanee Kid has tips to share

Jeremy Jahn, aka the Kokanee Kid, has a website ( with a mission statement “to convert all fishermen into kokanee addicts.” Although he’s from Salem, Jahn believes some kokanee basics apply to virtually all lakes holding the sometimes finicky landlocked sockeyes, at one time or another. 
Casey Baldwin, senior research scientist for the Colville Tribe’s Fish and Wildlife Department , checks on grilling salmon served at a luncheon celebrating the opening of the Chief Joseph Hatchery in Bridgeport, Wash. (Becky Kramer)

Colvilles celebrate $50 million hatchery

BRIDGEPORT, Wash. – Cheers went up when Colville tribal fisherman Mylan Williams hauled a 20-pound chinook out of the Columbia River with a dip net. Then hats came off in a show of respect. Tribal elders circled the fish and sang, honoring the salmon that gave up its life to feed the people.

Blog Posts

At the boat launch for Spokane County’s Fish Lake, John Leach of Spokane holds a stringer of large Eastern brook trout and a rainbow caught on April 28, 2013, the opening day of Washington’s lowland trout fishing season. (Rich Landers)

Eastern Washington’s top trout lakes surveyed

FISHING -- Despite strong winds that picked up by late morning, Saturday's opener of Washington's lowland trout fishing season produced some excellent fishing throughout much of Eastern Washington. Click on the documents below to see the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's opening day survey results...
After considerable effort and a few near misses at Williams Lake, Quinn Connacher, 6, of Spokane caught his first fish on April 28, 2013, the opening day of Washington's lowland lake trout fishing season. (Rich Landers)

A boy’s first fish: hooked on the moment

FISHING -- I feel sorry for parents who don't take their kids fishing. They don't know what they're missing. See a few hints about what they're missing in my Sunday story about Saturday's opening day of Washington's lowland trout season Please enjoy this short photo...
An angler lands a rainbow trout trout by lantern light shortly after midnights on April 27, 2013, off the Fishtrap Lake Resort dock. (Rich Landers)

First fish caught at 12:02 a.m. at Fishtrap

FISHING -- Eleven-year-old Cameron Earnshaw of Kennewick caught the first fish of the season off the docks at Fishtrap Lake Resort on Saturday -- two minutes after the season opened at midnight. Much more fun followed for the large family groups gathered for the annual...

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