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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Hunting and Fishing

Alan Liere, Correspondent The Spokesman-Review

Trout and kokanee

In the Yakima region, 9- to 10-inch kokanee are biting at Rimrock Reservoir near White Pass. Success has been poor, however, at Bumping. Kachess, Keechelus and Cle Elum reservoirs are also good bets for kokanee.

Kokes are taking Glo Hooks and maggots with abandon at Loon Lake. The bite starts around 8:30, but occasionally you will get into them an hour earlier. For whatever reason, pink maggots have been more effective than white, and a “charged” offering seems to make a difference. Start prospecting at about 24 feet and move out to 27 if the bite is slow. Anywhere along the east side is effective at the correct depth.

In Idaho, Coeur d’Alene kokanee to 12 inches continue to impress trollers. The fish are in a little deeper water, with most anglers starting at about 15 feet. In Montana, Lake Mary Ronan kokes are biting well, as are those in Koocanusa.

Kootenay Lake (British Columbia) trout fishing should stay good at least through June, said John Ziegler at Woodbury Resort. Green is the magic color in both bucktails and plugs. Twenty-pounders are still showing. The kokanee bite is picking up on Kootenay Lake.

Roosevelt trout trollers are still taking big rainbow trolling Muddler Minnows tipped with worm at four colors. On Rufus Woods, the big ones seem to have gone into hibernation, but there are a lot of fish in the 12- to 13-inch range.

You can still take a limit of trout from any number of Spokane-area lakes. Fish Lake is being largely overlooked, but there are a lot of brookies and tiger trout available. Fly fishermen are doing well along the pads straight across from the access, and bait fishermen are plying the far end about 50 yards out. Clear, West Medical, Badger, Amber, Williams and Fishtrap are still good.

Spiny ray

For large catches of perch, you have a lot of options. The biggest by far are at Banks Lake, but there are also some good-sized fish coming out of Long, Loon, Waitts and Diamond. Eloika Lake perch are smaller, but there are a lot of them. There’s no telling what you’ll pull out of Eloika, which is best known for its largemouth.

Largemouth are also cooperating at Hayden, Coeur d’Alene, Newman, Deer and around the docks and pads at Loon.

Smallmouth bass are hitting nearly everywhere. They are abundant in rocky areas on Roosevelt, Banks, Long, Potholes, Moses Lake and Coeur d’Alene. Shad Raps are good, but a curlytail grub will probably take as many. The larger fish in Potholes have been up in the shallows along the brush, rather than along the dike.

Coeur d’Alene pike are starting to hit crankbaits and spoons. Buzz bait will sometimes entice them when nothing else will.

Salmon and steelhead

The northern portion of Marine Area 10 opens Thursday to catch-and-release fishing for salmon. Fishing will be allowed north of a line from Point Monroe to Meadow Point. All salmon must be immediately released unharmed.

Hatchery summer-run steelhead are beginning to show in the lower Columbia and particularly downstream from Longview. Your best bet for summer steelhead is to head for one of the rivers on the Olympic Peninsula planted each year with hatchery fish. Those rivers include the Wynoochee, Quillayute, Calawah, Sol Duc and Lyre – all of which opened for fishing June 1.

Anglers are catching some spring chinook and summer-run steelhead from both the Kalama and Lewis rivers. The Kalama River summer-run steelhead returns to date are similar to the same time last year. Lewis River returns are up from 2004.

Effort is light on the Wind River. Some spring chinook are being caught from the Coffer Dam and upriver areas. On the Klickitat, bank anglers below Fisher Hill Bridge are catching some chinook.

On the lower Columbia below Bonneville Dam, bank anglers are averaging slightly less than a chinook per every four rods. The Dalles Pool is giving up almost a salmon per angler, and the John Day Pool average is a fish per every two rods.

Other species

Channel catfish are hitting in the lower Yakima River, in the Columbia River around the Tri-Cities and in the lower Snake River. There are also a few coming out of Sprague Lake.

Marine areas 3 (La Push) and 4 (Neah Bay) will reopen for halibut from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Thursday and again on June 18 to pick up the remainder of the quota off the north coast.

Under new crab-fishing rules just adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, sports crabbers will be allowed five crabs rather than six, and crabbing in some areas with the highest effort will be limited to four days per week. Marine areas 4 and 13 will open June 18 seven days per week. Marine areas 6, 7 South, 8-1, 8-2, 9, 10, 11 and 12 will open July 1, Wednesday through Saturday, plus the entire Labor Day weekend, before closing the evening of Sept. 5 for a catch assessment. Marine Area 7 will open July 16, Wednesday through Saturday, plus the entire Labor Day weekend, closing for a catch assessment Sept. 30. Marine Area 7 North will open Aug. 17, Wednesday through Saturday, plus the entire Labor Day weekend, closing for a catch assessment Sept. 30.

Crabbers can take five male Dungeness crab per day, with a carapace width of at least 6 1/4 inches. They are also allowed up to six red rock crab per day, measuring at least 5 inches. For more information on the season, see htm on the WDFW Web site or call the WDFW Shellfish Hotline at (866) 880-5431.

Shad fishing is hot on the Columbia near Bonneville and The Dalles. Don’t wait too much longer to try for these scrappy 2- to 4-pound fish, as the run appears to have spiked.