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Rose Lake access to close for construction

BOATING — The public boat access site at Rose Lake, a popular North Idaho panfish and catfish lake southeast of Fourth of July Pass, will be closed for for about 60 days starting Saturday, May 5.

Fish and Game Department officials say major improvements to the boating-fishing site require the closure for public safety during construction.

The project involves converting the Rose Lake boat launch from a primitive site to a modern facility with expanded and closer parking, a new access road to the ramp, and a larger boat loading area, says department spokesman Phil Cooper. 

New, paved ADA accessible parking will be built near the docks and ramps. Boaters will benefit from a new double lane launch surface, a new boarding dock system, and a boat preparation area.

For temporary small boat launching, the old gravel ramp at the Watson Road fishing access site will be open.

It’s the buzz: fishing season opens Saturday

FISHING — I just got off the air with KXLY radio host Bud Namek to discus Saturday's opening of Washington's lowland trout lake fishing season — and the special advance coverage we'll be publishing Thursday in S-R Outdoors.

I’ve been covering opening day for more than three decades and every year I come across family groups that have been assembling at the same lakes to camp and fish for generations.  

There's a lot of competition for a family's recreation time nowadays, but fishing is still a good value and time well-spent.

 It's a lifetime sport.

Should the state buy fishing access to Chapman Lake?

FISHING — Washington Fish and Wildlife officials are taking public comment on a proposal to buy 80 acres of land to establish a public fishing access at Chapman Lake in Spokane County.

Once a popular fishing destination, the 128-acre lake near Cheney has been inaccessible to the public since 2011, when the private resort that provided access was closed.

The state has helped maintain the kokanee fishery on the prospect that public access could someday be restored, said John Whalen, regional fisheries manager.

The property owner has offered to sell 80 acres for an access, he said.

The property is bordered on three sides by Washington Department of Natural Resources land.

Submit public comments by March 21 by email to  teamspokane@dfw.wa.gov

Big reason to fish Amber Lake before it closes

FLY FISHING — Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist Randy Osborne recently fished southwest Spokane County’s Amber Lake and reeled in this example of why anglers might want to wet a line there before the season closes at the end of November.

The lake is open for catch-and-release angling under selective gear rules and a prohibition on internal combustion motors. 

Triploids to sweeten fishing lakes for Fathers Day

FISHING — Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fish hatchery crews will be stocking 10,000 triploid rainbow trout in 20 lakes just before Father’s Day weekend, June 15-16.

“This is the second straight year we’ve stocked trout before Father’s Day, and this year we’ve doubled the number of fish and added six more lakes to the list,” said Chris Donley, WDFW Inland Fish Program manager.

Selected lakes in this region to be planted with the bright 1.5-pound trout include: 

  • West Medical in Spokane County, 1,250 triploids.
  • Williams Lake in Spokane County, 400 triploids.
  • Diamond Lake in Pend Oreille County, 600 triploids.
  • Park lake in Grant County, 400 triploids.
  • Alta Lake in Okanogan County, 350 triploids.
  • Conconully Reservoir in Okanogan County, 750 triploids.

Of course, previously stocke fish will be providing good fishing in other lakes. The triploids simply boost the excitement at the chosen lakes.

Fishing licenses can be purchased online.

See fish stocking details, by county and lake.

Bassmaster ranks Lake CdA 11th among nation’s top bass fishing lakes

FISHING — Lake Coeur d'Alene is ranked the best Northwest bass fishing lake and No. 11 in the nation in the new Bassmasters magazine rankings of the top 100 bass fisheries in the United States.

  • The Columbia River was ranked No. 21 in the country.
  • Dworshak Reservoir ranked No. 26.
  • Lake Sammamish ranked No. 51.
  • Fort Peck, Mont. ranked No. 75.

No. 1 in Bassmasters 2013 rankings is Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Eastern Washington’s top trout lakes surveyed

FISHING — Despite strong winds that picked up by late morning, Saturday's opener of Washington's lowland trout fishing season produced some excellent fishing throughout much of Eastern Washington.

Click on the documents below to see the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's opening day survey results and comments of local biologists on the top lakes from Grant County east to Pend Oreille county.

Also see:

Video: Fishing with kids is a hoot!

Photo essay: Boy's first fish — hooked on the moment


A boy’s first fish: hooked on the moment

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FISHING — I feel sorry for parents who don't take their kids fishing. They don't know what they're missing.

See a few hints about what they're missing in my Sunday story about Saturday's opening day of Washington's lowland trout season

Please enjoy this short photo sequence of Quinn Connacher, 6, of Spokane, as he works at Williams Lake to catch his first fish.

Once the trout was netted, the boy got a huge high five before he pranced and danced in celebration on the Bunker's Resort dock.

To heck with the five-fish limit.  As soon as his stepfather gathered their minimal gear, the boy made a beeline  up to the campground to show off his prize. 

The rainbow may have grown a little larger by the time he finished telling the story.  

Also see:

Eastern Washington's top trout lakes surveyed

Photo essay: Boy's first fish — hooked on the moment