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Flooding Toughens Access

Soggy roads and flooding could make access difficult to prime fishing lakes in portions of Eastern Washington and North Idaho this spring.

“Depending on where you look, there’s flooding, road washouts, supersaturated soils and a big snowpack that’s still waiting to melt,” said Madonna Luers, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department spokeswoman in Spokane.

Rocky Lake in Stevens County is likely to be inaccessible for the April 26 fishing opener because of mud, Luers said.

Some North Idaho waters also may pose access problems.

Even anglers with boats had better bring their waders.

“Hauser Lake is a couple of feet over summer pool, with water clear up into the parking lot,” said Ned Horner, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager. “There shouldn’t be much problem for people with canoes, float tubes or cartoppers. But people with larger boats could have trouble launching at many lowland lakes this spring.”

Spring breakup conditions are likely to be prolonged this year, Horner said.

Anglers heading for lakes accessible by national forest roads should plan ahead and call Forest Service ranger districts to check on road conditions.

, DataTimes