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Friday, February 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Blustery weather doesn’t dampen opening day fishing success

FISHING -- Saturday's opening of Washington's lowland trout fishing season was blustery, wet and cold, but anglers who toughed out the conditions were handsomely rewarded.

Overall, Spokane-region lakes produced some of the best opening day fishing in years, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife surveys.

"We arrived at 5:30 a.m. and we were the first ones here," said Carolyn Kitchens, who was at Waitts Lake with her husband and their two five-trout daily limits by 10 a.m.

"Fishing was good; took us less than four hours of fishing," said Randy Kitchens as they prepared to leave the Winona Beach Resort dock.

Angler turnout in the northeastern corner of the state ranged from good -- "This is Chewelah's favorite fishing hole," said Sam Gould -- to very light.  McDowell, a fly-fishing only lake on the Little Pend Oreille Wildlife Refuge, had only two pontoon boats on the lake at noon and nearby Bayley had only five vessels despite what appeared to be good fishing. 

(The water is low enough at Bayley to enable driving vehicles to the pontoon put-in. That's not always the case on opening day, when water often covers the gravel access road.)

Following are some of the most notable catch rates in the Spokane region on Saturday's opener:


  • Diamond Lake -- 4.2 fish per angler caught; 3.2 kept.


  • Clear Lake -- 6.2 fish per angler caught; 4 kept.
  • Williams Lake -- 6.2 fish per angler caught; 2.2 kept.
  • Fishtrap Lake -- 5.2 fish per angler caught; 3.8 kept.
  • West Medical Lake -- 4.6 fish per angler caught; 4 kept.
  • Fish Lake -- 1.3 fish per angler caught; less than one kept.


  • Waitts Lake -- 6 fish per angler caught; 2.5 kept
  • Rocky Lake -- 5.7 fish per angler caught; 3.3 kept
  • Starvation Lake -- 4.7 fish per angler caught; 4.7 kept
  • Mudget Lake -- 4.5 fish per angler caught; 3.1 kept

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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