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Spokane River fish fun to catch … and release

SUNDAY, APRIL 12, 2009

Fishing the Spokane River requires careful attention to details, not only to catch the finicky trout, but also to keep track of the regulations that vary in different stretches of the river.

A struggling population of native redband trout is found in the river, and brown trout have been stocked from Monroe Street downstream to Nine Mile Dam.

“The interface (where the moving water hits the reservoir’s slack water) in the lower river is a good place to find the big browns,” said Chris Donley, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist.

The river from Upriver Dam to the Idaho border is open only to catch-and-release, selective-gear rules.

The rules are slightly more liberal in segments farther downstream.

Most anglers practice catch and release throughout the Spokane River because, while the fish are fun to catch, they’re not the best to eat.

The Washington Department of Health has issued a fish consumption advisory for all fish species because of lead and PCB contamination.

Info: or Spokane Regional Health District, 324-1560.

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