Although Washington’s official 1996-97 fishing regulations pamphlet won’t be distributed to license dealers until late April, anglers should be aware of numerous changes in area fishing laws. Many of the changes, some of which go into effect May 1, were based on comments delivered to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department during public meetings last fall.
Muskegon Lake in Pend Oreille County will become a “selective fishery” with a restricted trout limit. Bait and barbed hooks prohibited.
Only kids under 15, handicapped anglers and other holders of Washington’s free licenses will be allowed to fish at Bear Lake in Spokane County The area closed to fishing at the southwest end of Sprague Lake to provide protection for waterfowl has been reduced.
All trout caught in the Spokane River above Upriver Dam must be released.
The daily bag limit at Bayley Lake, a fly-fishing-only water in Stevens County, will be reduced to one fish.
Catch-and-keep sturgeon fishing no longer will be allowed on the Columbia River upstream from Priest Rapids Dam.
Beginning this fall, Clear Lake in Spokane County will rejoin the trout lakes that close Oct. 31 and open on the last Saturday in April.
Lenice, Merry and Nunnally lakes in Grant County will open March 1 instead of the last Saturday in April beginning next year.
Dry Falls Lake, a selective fishery in Grant County, will remain open through Nov. 30. Previously, it closed Oct. 31.
Kokanee limits no longer will be included in the daily trout limit at certain waters, such as Chapman Lake in Spokane County, Loon Lake in Stevens County and Horseshoe Lake in Pend Oreille County.