BOATING -- Low water levels will prevent the boat launch at Coffeepot Lake from being opened to anglers when the lake's fishing season opens March 1.
U.S. Bureau of Land management officials say the unusually low water levels would lead to boat trailers getting stuck in the deep mud.
Small boats not requiring trailers can still be launched from the shoreline but larger boats will not be able to access the ramp. Recreation managers at the BLM’s Spokane District will reopen the boat launch when conditions improve.
“We want to get the word out to those who might be planning a fishing trip that the launch is closed so they can make alternative plans,” said Steve Smith, outdoor recreation planner for BLM’s Spokane District. “Right now we need Mother Nature’s help in order to get the water levels back up!”
Low precipitation levels may be a factor as well as the lowering of the area's water table by deep-well irrigation, a practice that's become controversial in the region.
An alternative fishing site is the BLM’s nearby Upper Twin Lake just northeast of Coffeepot, where water levels are higher and the boat launch is open for trailered boats. Both sites are located west of Harrington, Washington.
Both lake's have perch fishing, but Coffeepot -- a quality fishing lake with special regulations and a ban on bait -- is especially popular with fly fishers who cast for the lake's rainbow trout.
- Click here for more information on Coffeepot Lake and Upper Twin Lake.