The northern pike explosion in the Pend Oreille River in the past seven years has spawned excitement for fishermen and a major headache for biologists. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Kalispel Tribe are conducting studies geared to managing the non-native predator known for its voracious appetite.
Smallmouth bass are becoming one of the region’s most abundant fisheries, and fish managers say anglers should make a point to take home limits of smallmouths whenever they can from Lake Coeur d’Alene to Lake Roosevelt. “We simply have too many smallmouths,” said Jim Fredericks, Idaho Fish and Game Department regional fisheries manager.
Idaho has increased the number of mandatory watercraft inspection stations that are open in the Panhandle to three with two more opening in May. All boats will be inspected for standing water and signs of quagga and zebra mussels. Inspectors will ask boaters where their craft has been in the previous 30 days.
The season isn’t open yet, but the fishing has been good the past two weeks for Chris Donley, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department Spokane district fisheries biologist. Recently he pulled survey gillnets that had been soaking overnight in West Medical and Fishtrap Lakes and found an exceptionally healthy crop of fat, rainbow trout.
Residents and anglers around several Eastern Washington lakes take great pride in boosting the trout fishing by tending net pens of trout to be released for anglers. The top net pen project in the region is at Lake Roosevelt, where the Bonneville Power Administration funds the raising of trout and kokanee to bolster fishing throughout much of the 150-mile long reservoir.
Idaho Fish and Game will be wheeling out “Take Me Fishing Trailers” packed with fishing rods and tackle for Idaho Panhandle kids to use free at trout-stocked ponds in June. The “Take Me Fishing” trailer debuts this season on June 2, from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at Fernan Lake and then on June 4 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Post Falls Park.
Although a decision isn’t likely until the end of this week, a spring chinook salmon season is likely to open in phases on the Washington portion of the Snake River starting around April 20, state officials say. When approved by federal fisheries officials, the season will be posted on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department website.
Mick Palanuk of Grand Coulee offered this recipe for success after hearing other anglers vent their frustration in foiled quests to harvest trout. 1. Put a handful of miniature marshmallows on a sheet of plastic wrap.
Pend Oreille River northern pike are Washington’s big boom fishey. But fish managers say they’re headed for a bust if something isn’t done. Fishing for pike into the 20-pound range in Box Canyon Reservoir has become a sensation since the non-native fishery exploded a few years ago, luring anglers from hundreds of miles. They fish year round; some come for tournaments.
Take it from the record number of bald eagles that gathered to feast on spawning salmon this winter: Kokanee have made a comeback at Lake Coeur d’Alene. The turn-around has been dramatic, said Jim Fredericks, Idaho Fish and Game fisheries manager.