Excellent fishing will be found in numerous Eastern Washington lakes that open April 27. But the biggest fish will predictably come from the “selective fishery” waters, Lake Roosevelt, Loon and Newman lakes and the Snake and Columbia rivers, some of which are open to year-round fishing.
Selective fishery lakes expected to yield large trout include: the Lenice-Nunnally lakes, with rainbows and browns, 14-20 inches; Dry Falls, rainbows and browns, 12-18 inches; Lenore and Grimes, Lahontan cutthroat, 16-26 inches; and Ell, rainbows, 12-18 inches.
Selective fisheries have reduced bag limits. No bait fishing allowed. Not all selective fishery and fly fishing-only waters hold big trout. The cutthroat in Browns (Pend Oreille County) and Long (Ferry) are average, running 8-12 inches.
Lake Roosevelt, a year-round fishery, will provide fair to good fishing for rainbows and kokanee, 12-22 inches; walleyes, 10-24 inches; smallmouth bass, 10-18 inches; and perch, 10-14 inches.
As always, Loon will come up with a few mackinaw trout. The mack fishing hasn’t been nearly as good as it was a few years ago, but that could change with the planting of young macks in the lake. Look for excellent kokanee fishing.
Deer Lake once produced excellent fishing for mackinaw and kokanee. But fishing has deteriorated the last few years and probably won’t be good this year.
As usual, the Snake and Columbia rivers will provide good fishing for sturgeon starting this spring and steelhead next fall. The Columbia also holds good numbers of big walleyes. National fishing magazines rate the Columbia below Umatilla as one of the top-producing walleye waters in the country.
Most fishermen will spend their time at lakes where the fish are small enough to fit in a large frying pan. This is a building year for Williams and Badger after their rehabilitations last year. Only yearling rainbows and a few hundred broodstock rainbows will be in the lakes.
Fishtrap should be one of the best producers in the Spokane region, where rainbows range 10-14 inches long. Expect a big opening-day crowd.
Clear, Silver and Liberty are among several lakes and streams planted with brown trout, as well as rainbows. Some browns in Clear and Silver are 14-20 inches long.
Other waters that receive brown trout plants include Medical, Eloika, Newman, Jump-off Joe, Waitts and the Little Spokane and Touchet rivers.
Don’t look for outstanding fishing at Diamond Lake this year. Largemouth bass have been eating a high percentage of small trout planted each year in the lake. Fan Lake is also populated with species that compete with trout, but heavy plants of cutthroat and rainbows should make Fan a lake to investigate.
Because of a shortage of cutthroat fry and fingerlings, Muskegon, Mystic, No Name, Petit and Yocum in Pend Oreille counties and Long Lake (fly fishing-only) in Ferry County weren’t planted last year. No plants are scheduled for this year.
Sacheen and Marshall lakes in Pend Oreille County are expected to provide fair fishing this year.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Tiger muskies Newman Lake is the only water in Eastern Washington stocked with tiger muskies, a sterile cross between northern pike and muskellunge. Some of the toothy trophies will be longer than 30 inches this summer.