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Walleye fishing program tonight

FISHING — George Allen of the Spokane Walleye Club will present a free program on walleye fishing tonight, 7 p.m., at the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council meeting, 6116 N. Market St.

Spokane Tribe official to discuss Lake Roosevelt walleye fishery

FISHING — Brent Nichols, Lake Roosevelt fisheries program manager for the Spokane Tribe, will discuss the walleye fishery on Lake Roosevelt and detail a new walleye tagging program for the Spokane Arm in a program for the Spokane Walleye Club at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 at the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council auditorium, 6116 N. Market St.

Some anglers blame state and tribal fish management for the demise of the lake's walleye fishery, but biologists say the walleye have been overpopulated.

Would you criticize an angler for keeping a record-setting walleye?

FISHING — Some people are criticizing John Grubenhoff of Pasco for not releasing the 20.32-pound Washington state record walleye he caught Friday in the Columbia River.

Experts say he did the right thing, without even getting around to the argument that walleye are a non-native species.

It’s official: 20.32-pound walleye is Washington record

FISHING — The whopper walleye caught in the Columbia River on Friday — see today's story —  has been officially declared a state record by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Following is the official announcement, just posted:

New State Fishing Record:  Walleye (Sander vitrius)

Caught by John Grubenhoff of Pasco, WA, in Lake Wallula (Columbia River), Benton County, on Feb. 28, 2014

Weight:            20.32 lbs

Total Length: 35.50 inches (90 cm)

Girth:                22.75 inches (57.5 cm)

Fishing method/gear: Trolling in 22 feet of water upstream along a current break at 0.8 mph and using a Rapala® J-13 lure 6 feet behind a 2 oz. “bottom walker” weight. 

Conditions: Sunny, but with a cold front coming in the next day. Water temperature: 37.2 degrees; air temperature: upper 40s.

Species description:  Walleye are extremely popular sport fish everywhere they occur, and are known for their exquisite flavor. They are native to the Midwest United States and were first identified in Washington about 1960 in Banks Lake. They have since spread throughout the Columbia Basin and the Columbia River from Lake Roosevelt, downstream to near Longview. Washington is known nationwide for its walleye fishing.

Previous record: Taken Feb. 5, 2007 in Lake Wallula (Columbia River) by Mike Hepper of Richland, WA

Weight:            19.3 lbs

Total Length:   33.7 inches

Girth:                22.2 inches

Pasco angler catches 20-pound Washington record walleye in Columbia

UPDATE March 5, 2014, 3:15 p.m.:  It's official! The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has just confirmed Grubenhoff's walleye as a state record.

FISHING — A walleye weighing 20.32 pounds caught in the Columbia River on Friday is a pending Washington record.

John Grubenhoff, 57, of Pasco was fishing in the McNary Pool near the Tri Cities when he caught the egg-heavy female measuring 35 1/2 inches long and 22 3/4 inches in girth.

A state biologist witnessed the weighing on a certified scale on Friday. State biologist Paul Hoffarth measured the fish on Saturday and said he doesn't foresee and issues that would prevent the record from being confirmed.

Grubenhoff's walleye would top the current record of 19.3 pounds caught by Tri-Cities angler Mike Hepper in February 2007.

Oregon's record, also from the Columbia, is 19 pounds, 15 ounces caught in 1990.

The world record listed by the International Game Fish Association is 25 pounds caught in Old Hickory Lake, Tenn., in 1960.

Grubenhoff, who's pursued walleyes for 29 years, said he rushed home from his job at Sandvik Special Metals on Friday afternoon to get in some fishing before dark. Winter is prime time for catching trophy walleyes while the hens are still full of eggs.

“A cold front was forecast to come in that evening so I figured that fishing would be good,” he said, noting the water temperature was 37.2 degrees. “Boy was it. My first fish came within about 10 minutes, a nice hen around 14 pounds. I released her as usual and went back at it.”

Within 10 minutes, he caught and released a 6-pound male. He said he hooked the record fish about a half hour later “fishing a current break adjacent to a windswept, rocky shoreline in about 22 feet of water.”

He was trolling upstream at about 0.8 mph with a Rapala J-13 – a 6-inch-long minnow lure in silver and black – about 6 feet behind a 2-ounce bottom walker.

“The largest walleye I've caught up until now was around 18 pounds,” he said. “She was released after a few photos.”

But he said he knew Friday’s fish was a possible record and took it - almost - immediately to be weighed on a certified scale.

“I have been tournament fishing for about 25 years, mostly with my son Jacob, who is my best buddy,” he said. “We've won nine tournaments and placed in the money dozens of times.”

Ranch & Home, a Tri-Cities sporting goods store, has offered to pay for the taxidermist and a reproduction to display in the store, he said.

Pasco angler catches 20-pound state record walleye in Columbia

4 p.m. — See updated post and photo here.

FISHING — A Columbia River walleye weighing 20.32 pounds was caught in the Columbia River on Friday and is likely to be confirmed as a Washington record, state Fish and Wildlife Department biologists say

John Grubenhoff of Pasco was fishing in the McNary Pool near the Tri-Cities when caught the fish measuring 35 1/2 inches long and 22 3/4 inches in girth. 

A state biologist witnessed the weighing on a certified scale on Friday. Paul Hoffarth, area district biologist, measured the fish on Saturday and said he doesn't forsee and issues that would prevent the record from being confirmed.

Grubenhoff's walleye would top the current record of 19.3 pounds caught by Mike Hepper in February 2007.

Winter is prime time to catch record walleyes while the females are heavy with eggs.

Oregon's walleye record is 19 pounds, 15 ounces caught in 1990.

The world record listed by the International Game Fish Association is 25 pounds caught in Old Hickory Lake, Tenn., in 1960.

Bass-walleye fishing clinics offered by pros Saturday at Valley Marine

FISHING — Pro bass anglers Brett Hite and Dave Kromm will headline the list of presenters at a free series of bass and walleye fishing seminars Saturday, Feb. 15, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Valley Marine7915 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley.

The second annual Fishing Frenzy includes boat and equipment displays and programs on fishing topics from lures to the latest electronics.

Hite is just winding down from a $125,000 win in a national tournament last week in Florida.

Enjoy free pizza for lunch.

Continue reading for seminar schedule:

New walleye rules for Lake Roosevelt, including San Poil and Spokane arms

FISHING — New fishing regulations with more liberal limits take effect Monday, April 1, on Lake Roosevelt, and the lower reaches of the San Poil and Spokane Rivers. 

Here are the details from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Action:  The daily walleye bag limit for Lake Roosevelt, the lower San Poil River, and the lower Spokane River will increase to 16 fish with no size restriction. In addition, the lower Spokane River from mouth (SR 25 Bridge) upstream to 400 feet below Little Falls Dam will open for walleye fishing April 1.

Effective Date:  April 1 at 12:01 a.m. until further notice

Species affected:  Walleye

Locations:

  • Lake Roosevelt;
  • The lower Spokane River from mouth (SR 25 Bridge) to 400 feet below Little Falls Dam; and
  • The lower San Poil River from Boundary Line A upstream to Boundary Line C (as illustrated by the map in the current WDFW “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet, or the Fishing section of the WDFW webpage

Reason for action:  In early March, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved new fishing regulations designed to increase harvest on an overabundant walleye populations in Lake Roosevelt and the lower Spokane River. Besides providing additional fishing opportunities for anglers, these changes will help to reduce walleye predation on native fish populations as well as the number of small walleye in those waters. The permanent regulations approved by the Commission will take effect May 1, 2013.

The emergency regulations will effectively initiate these changes April 1, 2013, a month sooner, to expedite the goals of the Commission's permanent rules for Lake Roosevelt and the lower Spokane River. In addition, they apply the 16-fish daily limit for walleye to the lower San Poil River, which also has an overabundance of the species.

Other information:  All other WDFW fishing regulations for Lake Roosevelt, Spokane River, and San Poil River remain in effect. 

Recreational fishing in Lake Roosevelt, and in the San Poil River between Boundary A to Boundary C, requires a Washington State freshwater license and compliance with established State fishing regulations. The Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) have established non-tribal recreational fishing regulations which differ from State regulations in this area. Be advised that anglers fishing in this area may be checked by tribal enforcement officers for a tribal license.

All waters upstream of Boundary C (above the 1310 mean sea elevation) and within the CCT Reservation boundary are under the regulatory authority of the CCT. For CCT fishing information call (509) 634-2110.

Spokane Tribe offers bounty on Roosevelt walleyes

FISHING — Word is out around the Big Horn Show that the Spokane Tribe has issued a bounty on walleyes payable to tribal members who bring in spawning-season fish from Lake Roosevelt, apparently from the Spokane Arm.

Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officials confirm the tribe has some sort of bounty in place, but the regional fisheries manager with the details has not been available.

The Spokane Tribe has not yet returned a called made this afternoon.

Stay tuned.

While I'm awaiting word from official sources, Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman magazine has a little more on the issue.

Photo of Pocatello angler with Idaho record walleye

FISHING Walleye, — It's official!  The Idaho Fish and Game Department has confirmed a state record walleye was caught Saturday in Oakley Reservoir by Damon Rush of Pocatello. 

The fish weighted 17 pounds, 14 ounces and measured 34.5 inches long and 21.875 inches in girth.

The fish reportedly hit a Rapala fished on 14-pound test line in the reservoir southeast of Twin Falls. In outweighed the previous record — also caught in Oakley — by 2 ounces.

Anglers find elbow room at Lake Roosevelt

COLUMBIA RIVER — The level of Lake Roosevelt continues to rise significantly every day and a few anglers — very few at this point — are finding more boat launches open — and the fishing isn't bad, either.

The water temperature in the Spokane Arm was 57 degrees today.  We caught walleye and smallmouth bass.

Thanks to my fishing partners, Jim Kujala and Dave Ross, I know that there are some pretty good size walleye and smallmouth bass in the water.

And if it weren't for them seeding my fish bag a little, I wouldn't be able to tell you that there's roughly twice as much meat on a 14-inch walleye as there is on a 12-incher.

See the Lake Roosevelt minimum levels for boat launching chart, and keep watching the current water elevation

Trout aren’t tops on Missouri fly guides’ list this week

FLY FISHING — A friend just back from fishing for rainbow and brown trout in the Missouri near Craig, Mont., said all of his action was on nymphs. (Uh, remember we're talking about fishing.)

“One 20-inch fish, sporadic pods so lots of time without fish,” he said.

But he added this notable tidbit:
 
“The owner of Headhunters (Fly Shop in Craig) and one of his guides were fishing on their own, not trout but buggering for walleye  at the dam, getting big ones. They said they had to fish the patterns verly slowly and they could barely feel the hits.”