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Wednesday, September 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Opening dates primer

Idaho and Washington have numerous fishing seasons geared to different waters and fisheries — too many to even summarize here. Always check current regulations for specific waters before going fishing. There’s talk of more changes starting next year in both states. Meantime, here are some opening dates to note:


March 1: With some notable local exceptions such as Amber, Downs and Coffeepot, this opener is primarily for catch-and-release lakes or for trout lakes in the Columbia Basin where warmer temperatures promote early fishing.

April 1: Primarily for lakes with some sort of special regulations, including Dry Falls Lake.

April 24 (last Saturday in April): THE opening day for most anglers heading out to some of the state’s most productive lowland lakes stocked with hatchery trout.

June 5 (first Saturday in June): General stream fishing opener. While many rivers, including Crab Creek, can be fished year-round, be careful. Much of the Spokane River is open year-round, but portions have seasonal closures.

Dec. 1: For specially managed winter fishing lakes such as Fourth of July and Hog Canyon.

Year-round: Unless specifically mentioned in the Washington fishing regulations pamphlet, all other streams and lakes are open to fishing year-round.


May 29 (Saturday of Memorial Day weekend): Rivers and streams general opener.

Dec. 1: Winter stream opener for catch-and-release trout and whitefish and brook trout harvest.

Year-round: Unless specifically mentioned in the Idaho fishing regulations pamphlet, all other lakes are open to fishing year-round.

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