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Northern lakes sans ice

Thu., April 15, 2010, midnight

Fishing for northern pike on and along the Pend Oreille River has become a hot attraction. (Rich Landers)
Fishing for northern pike on and along the Pend Oreille River has become a hot attraction. (Rich Landers)

For the first time in three years, ice was NOT clogging most of the trout fishing lakes in Stevens, Ferry and Pend Oreille counties in early April. Water temperatures are still chilly, but hatchery trucks appear to be on schedule for trout deliveries this month.

Starvation Lake southeast of Colville usually ranks among the highest in the state for catch rates on the last Saturday in April general season opener.

Among the other popular northeast lakes:

Browns northeast of Newport is a quiet fly-fishing-only water.

Curlew has net-pen produced trout plus bass and huge tiger muskies that are attracting statewide attention.

Deer will get a shot of rainbow triploids this year to go with its largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, perch and lake trout. A net-pen produces kokanee and rainbows. Boat launching at Deer Lake has been especially difficult this year because of low water.

Diamond produces good early season fishing for hatchery and net-pen rainbows and some browns.

Loon, best known for its summer kokanee fishery, also has bass, mackinaw and other species. Tiger trout have replaced rainbows in the state’s stocking schedule.

Waitts has brown trout and net-pen-raised rainbows, plus bass, perch and sunfish. The public launch was improved two years ago.

Lake Roosevelt’s trout, walleye and smallmouth fisheries are outstanding, and the Pend Oreille River’s burgeoning northern pike are the region’s hottest new fishery.



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