Eastern Washington: Steelhead/salmon: Fishing for hatchery-marked steelhead and fall chinook salmon continues in southeast Washington's Snake River through the month of October.
Up to three hatchery-marked (adipose fin clipped) steelhead may be retained daily, but once they are, anglers must cease fishing for salmon and steelhead for the day, regardless of whether the salmon daily limit has been retained. Up to six adult (at least 24 inches) hatchery fall chinook salmon and up to six hatchery jacks (less than 24 inches) can be retained daily. The minimum size for chinook that can be retained in the Snake River is 12 inches.
Anglers must use barbless hooks. No chinook and steelhead with unclipped adipose fins can be removed from the water and must be immediately released unharmed.
Trout/Mixed species: October is the last month -- and often a very good time to fish many of the region's popular trout-stocked lakes and some rivers and streams. Randy Osborne, WDFW central district fish biologist, notes that fall insect hatches are providing trout food, so anglers who use flies or lures that mimic that forage can be successful.
Some of Spokane County's best trout lakes closed Sept. 30, but Osborne says there are enough exceptions to keep fishing productive. Clear and Liberty lakes provide trout, bass and other fish through October. Amber Lake remains open through November for catch-and-release fishing. A number of year-round waters, including Eloika, Sprague, and Lake Spokane (or Long Lake), continue to be productive for trout, bass, crappie, and perch.
Many Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille county waters, most which are open through the month, produce good catches of rainbow trout and other species at this time.
Lake Roosevelt, the Columbia River reservoir off Grand Coulee Dam, provides some of the best year-round fishing. Anglers should find good action on big rainbows and walleye, especially in the northernmost reaches of the reservoir. Triploid rainbow trout from this spring's releases are running about 14 inches.
Most rivers and streams in the region close Oct. 31, but sections of some major waterways, like the Spokane River, remain open year-round or into next spring; some with specific restrictions listed in the sport fishing rules pamphlet.