While not on the magnitude of the net-pen escapes from last year, the Colville Tribe is keeping the trout spigot open at Lake Rufus Woods.
About 2,000 triploid rainbows averaging 3.5 pounds were released in February to kick off a monthly stocking program continuing into early July.
The next release of 2,000 fish is set for the end of this week, said Ed Schallenberger, Colville Tribe fisheries biologist.
Some of the trout are smaller that 3 pounds, but some are more than 6.
The released fish are tagged. Anglers are asked to reported tagged fish to help biologist manage the fishery.
“After the first release, we were getting some tag returns from upstream of the net pens and some from down in the Bridgeport area within eight days,” he said.
Most of the tagged fish appear to be coming from near the commercial net pens where free-roaming trout congregate to eat food that drifts through the pens.
Tagged fish accounted for 15 percent of the trout caught in the Bridgeport area last weekend and 30 percent of the catch near the net pens, according to Schallenberger’s creel survey.
“The water continues to be colder than normal at Rufus Woods and fishing has been slow,” he said this week.
Trip into spring
Spokane Parks and Recreation’s first spring group trips are a sure sign that spring has arrived. These two are specifically for nature lovers over age 50:
Kayak Banks Lake, Friday. Cost: $39
Bicycle to tulips, April 6, in Western Washington. Cost: $419, includes transportation from Spokane, guides, meals, three nights in a lodge.
Pre-register: 625-6200; www.spokaneparks.org .
Boat ban planned
A small boat-fishing closure zone just inside Drano Lake in the Columbia Gorge is proposed by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department to defuse the growing conflict between trollers and bank anglers.
Spring chinook fishing opened Monday at Drano, but the earliest the boat ban near the outlet would begin is early April, said Pat Frazier, the agency’s regional fisheries manager.
Drano Lake is a 300-acre backwater of the Columbia River at the confluence with the Little White Salmon River. This year, a run of 9,600 spring chinook is forecast back to Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery just upstream from Drano Lake.
The area in dispute is commonly called the “toilet bowl” by fishermen.
The (Vancouver) Coumbian
In Montana, the U.S. Forest Service last week banned motorized travel on 200 miles of trail in the Badger-Two Medicine area on the Rocky Mountain Front.
More than 35,000 public comments were received on the ban, most calling for restrictions on motorized travel.