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

Alan Liere’s hunting and fishing report for June 6, 2024

By Alan Liere The Spokesman-Review

Trout and kokanee

There are many options for catching trout in Stevens and Pend Oreille county lakes, including Cedar, Rocky, Big Meadow and Pierre. All have seen good fishing this spring. Sprague Lake, on the Lincoln-Adams county line, has good-sized (up to 6 pounds) rainbow trout. Trolling spoons is effective, as is still-fishing with worm and marshmallow sandwiches. Lake Roosevelt and Rufus Woods Reservoir are top choices for large-sized rainbow trout.

In April, the Colville Confederated Tribes stocked 23,157 triploid rainbow trout averaging 1.4 pounds apiece in Rufus Woods. Additional plants took place in May.

A friend fishing from shore with Power Bait this week at Hanson Harbor on Lake Roosevelt caught a limit of rainbow, all but one between 17 and 21 inches.

Lowland lakes in north-central Washington continue to produce fair to good trout fishing action. Popular choices for anglers include Blue, Park, Deep and Warden lakes in Grant County; Alta, Conconully (Lake and Reservoir) and Pearrygin lakes in Okanogan County; Wapato, Fish, Beehive and Upper Wheeler lakes in Chelan County; and Jameson Lake in Douglas County. Grimes Lake in Douglas County opened Saturday for a selective gear fishery targeting some nice Lahontan cutthroat trout.

Also in north-central Washington are smaller lakes with more secluded settings. These include Round and Long east of Tonasket; Beaver and Lake Beth in northeast Okanogan County; and Wannacut west of Oroville. Kokanee can be found in Patterson, Alta, Conconully, Bonaparte and Spectacle lakes.

Within the Quincy Lakes Unit of the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area there are many walk-in lakes.

Dusty is an excellent hike-in lake for anglers wanting to get away from crowds and catch rainbow, tiger and brown trout. Evening fishing along the basalt hillsides can be excellent. Lenice and Nunnally lakes are fishing well for trout in the 14- to 16-inch range with some up to 20 inches. Selective Gear Rules apply on these waters.

Dry Falls, located in Sun Lakes State Park, is a popular selective gear lake for large rainbow and brown trout. Fish in the 16- to 20-inch range are common.

Lakes in the W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area – Blue, Deer, Spring, Watson, Rainbow and Curl – are good choices for rainbow trout.

Chelan Lake kokanee ranging from 12 to almost 18 inches have been hitting trolled gear about 70 feet down.

Chelan also has cutthroat trout, lake trout and a few landlocked chinook salmon.

More than 26,000 catchable-size (10- to 12-inch) rainbow trout will be stocked in the Idaho Panhandle Region in June. The first to be stocked this week are Mirror Lake, Round Lake, Rathdrum Park Creek and Priest Lake Golf Course Pond.

Salmon and steelhead

With a strong forecast for sockeye in 2024, anglers can expect good opportunities during the summer salmon season. The section of the Columbia River in the Hanford Reach area from Columbia Point (one-fourth mile downstream of I-182 Bridge at Richland) to I-182 Bridge at Richland opens for summer salmon fishing June 16 through July 15 for bank fishing only.

Spring chinook fishing downstream of Bonneville Dam is open until June 15 for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead. The Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis rivers are open to hatchery chinook in most areas through July 31. Bonneville Dam, Drano Lake and Wind River are open for hatchery chinook and hatchery steelhead.

The spring chinook fishery in the Snake River remains closed. The mainstem Columbia River summer chinook fishery below Bonneville Dam will be open June 16 to 19 below Bonneville Dam, with the stretch of river above Bonneville Dam to Priest Rapids open June 16 to 30 and closed to retention thereafter. Sockeye retention is expected to be allowed in the daily salmonid bag limit from June 16 to July 31 for waters downstream of the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco.

The start to early summer salmon fishing began Saturday when Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) opened daily for coho fishing only.

Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) opened Wednesday and will remain open Wednesdays through Saturdays only of each week for hatchery chinook and coho fishing. Salmon fishing also continues in southern Puget Sound (Marine Area 13). The Tulalip Terminal Area Salmon Fishery is open each week between midnight Friday to 11:59 a.m. Monday .

Marine Areas 1, 3 and 4 (Ilwaco, La Push and Neah Bay) open June 22 for salmon, and Marine Area 2 (Westport-Ocean Shores) opens June 30 to July 11 on Sundays through Thursdays, and opens daily beginning July 14. Marine Areas 2, 3 and 4 are scheduled to stay open until Sept. 15, and Marine Area 1 closes on Sept. 30. All ports could close sooner if catch quotas are met.

Spiny ray

Curlew Lake perch are moving into the shallows with the warming temperatures. Fishing a jig tipped with a chunk of worm or nightcrawler off the bottom in 6 to 10 feet of water is a good way to catch a cooler full.

Eloika Lake in north Spokane County is a great largemouth bass lake, probably the best in Eastern Washington. Liberty Lake is also good, and like Eloika, also has crappie, perch and brown trout.

The shoreline across from the Upper Million Dollar Mile boat launch on Banks Lake is a great spot to catch smallmouth bass. Cast tube jigs or crawdad plugs toward shore.

Smallmouth fishing has also been good around rocky shorelines on the Snake River, Lake Spokane and the Pend Oreille River. Lake Spokane (Long Lake) anglers are also catching some nice-sized perch.

Other species

When daily counts at the Bonneville Dam fish ladder hit 20,000-plus shad, fishing is prime. This week, more than 35,000 shad per day are being counted there.

The Northern Pikeminnow Sport-Reward fishery, which pays anglers $6 to $10 for each qualifying fish, continues until the end of September. In 2023, the top 20 anglers caught an average of 4,005 fish each and averaged reward payments of $40,135 each for the five-month season. The highest-paid angler earned $107,800.


It is time to submit your spring turkey report, even if you plan to hunt turkeys again this fall. Reports are required before Jan. 31, whether you were successful in harvesting a turkey or not.

WDFW is accepting public comments on proposed changes to cougar hunting seasons. Information about the proposed changes and how to submit your input is available on WDFW’s website. The deadline to comment is June 21.

Contact Alan Liere at