Northeastern Washington lakes have been well tended to satisfy the demand for good fishing when the lowland lake season opens on Saturday. Periodic problems with fish die-offs at lakes usually can be compensated to some degree by changes in stocking, such as a one-time increase of catchable-size hatchery fish, said the fisheries manager for Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.
Fishtrap and West Medical lakes will provide some of the best Spokane-area fishing among the lakes opening Saturday for the lowland trout fishing season, state biologists say. They are traditional favorites that lure generations of angling friends and families year after year, and this year should be no exception. Some Washington lakes are open to fishing all year. Dozens opened in March primarily in the Columbia Basin, and even more lakes opened to fishing in April.
A small portion of Washington’s managed fisheries are designated fly-fishing only. Many high-quality trout lakes, such as Amber Lake in Spokane County, are designated “selective fisheries,” where single-barbless hooks are required, bait is prohibited and catch limits and use of motors are restricted.
Changes underway at Nine Mile Dam are creating better access for paddlers and a temporary reason for caution to boaters and anglers. The water level of Nine Mile Reservoir will be lowered about 6 feet starting in May to accommodate work on a barge landing at the dam.
With about $69 million in repairs to a cracked spillway completed at Wanapum Dam, water levels on the Columbia River reservoir are being brought up to normal levels and boat ramps are being readied to use for the first time in more than a year. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reopened two boat launches and nearly 20 miles of the remaining shoreline above the Wanapum reservoir to public use on Wednesday.
SHELLFISHING – Razor clam digs proposed for April and May would cap a season packed with more “beach days” than any time in the past 25 years, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife says. State shellfish managers are planning another 24 days of digging on morning low tides at various beaches from April 4 through May 17.
A group of excellent fishing waters will open April 11 for non-tribal members on the Colville Indian Reservation, but anglers don’t have to wait that long to wet a line. The tribe released 10,000 triploid rainbow trout weighing about 2 pounds each in the year-round fishing waters of Lake Rufus Woods on Thursday, making the reservoir between Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams a likely hot spot for anglers this weekend.
The earliest spring chinook fishing to be approved for Idaho waters will begin April 25. The state Fish and Game Commission Tuesday approved seasons and rules for the spring salmon season during its meeting in Boise. The 2015 returns are expected to be about the same as last year.
Wild redband trout in Lake Roosevelt need more distinction to survive, researchers say. Without a little more protection, the native redbands could disappear from the fishery dominated by the abundant hatchery-produced rainbow trout released in the Columbia River reservoir each year.
Competitive walleye anglers have a longer trail to trek through the region this season. Walleyes Unlimited Northwest has assembled a new tournament trail that provides a more diverse selection of fisheries.