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Washington Fishing Report

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Eastern Washington Sponsored by
Date 01-Nov-14
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Conditions : Eastern Washington: Fishing: The Snake River steelhead fishery is traditionally good in November with the onset of cooler, clearer waters. This year’s returns are better than last season, said regional Fish Program Manager John Whalen. Up to three hatchery-marked steelhead (missing adipose fin) can be retained daily.

Despite what the rules pamphlet says, the first of November is NOT the start of catch-and-release steelhead fishing on the Tucannon River. By emergency rule change earlier this fall, all steelhead with a missing adipose fin caught in the Tucannon must be retained. Catch-and-release of hatchery steelhead is not allowed. The daily limit is reduced to two hatchery steelhead per day. The reason for the change is to provide more protection for natural-origin steelhead. Removal of stray hatchery steelhead that primarily enter the Tucannon in the fall prevents them from spawning and provides a refuge area for early returning wild steelhead.

Steelhead fishing on the Columbia River near the Tri-Cities should be good this month because so many hatchery-origin fish have been “recycled” there by WDFW Ringold Springs fish hatchery staff. “We’re seeing more hatchery steelhead returning to the hatchery trap this year than in the last 10 years of trapping records,” said hatchery manager Mike Erickson. “In the last two weeks of October we’ve recycled more than 400 steelhead to the river downstream in the Tri-Cities area so that anglers have additional opportunities. As temperatures cool these fish should be biting.”

Rainbow trout fishing is available for the first time this month and next in two of the man-made impoundments off the Tucannon River that normally close at the end of October. By a special rule this year, Blue Lake and Spring Lake on WDFW’s Wooten Wildlife Area are open through Dec. 31. Both are well-stocked with catchable-size rainbows from the Tucannon Fish Hatchery and should provide good fishing until the end of the year.

Southwest Spokane County’s Amber Lakeremains open through the end of November for catch-and-release, selective-gear fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout. WDFW District Fish Biologist Randy Osborne reports that fishing has been good at Amber and the trout are in very good condition.

Rainbow trout fishing at Sprague Lake on the Lincoln/Adams county line has been good this fall. Osborne reminds Sprague Lake trout anglers that although the daily limit is five fish, only two trout over 20 inches may be retained.

Good rainbow trout fishing is also available now at Long Lake (Lake Spokane), and Osborne says it should get even better through the fall. These are the sterile rainbows that are stocked (155,000 annually) through a cooperative effort by WDFW and Avista. Some of these fish were raised by WDFW and some by Trout Lodge. The fish stocked in June are now running between 10 and 12 inches and are very healthy and robust.

Osborne says anglers should also be able to find some opportunity this month for yellow perch on two year-round lakes in Spokane County – Silver Lake, near Cheney, and Newman Lake, near the Idaho border. With the mild weather that has been hanging on this fall, Osborne says anglers fishing Liberty Lake, just outside of Spokane, should find some fall largemouth bass and smallmouth bass action.

Z-Lake on WDFW’s Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area in Lincoln County should still be a fair place to catch a fat rainbow trout, reports area manager Juli Anderson. “That is, if you stay out of the shallows on the north and south ends of Z Lake,” she said. “Remember, too that this is a walk-in fishing site. We just inspected the aeration system to ensure the hatchery trout in the lake have oxygen over the winter, and everything’s looking good.”

Lake Roosevelt, the year-round Columbia River reservoir off Grand Coulee Dam, has good rainbow trout fishing this month and some walleye opportunities.

Waitts Lake in Stevens County is open through February and provides rainbow and brown trout, largemouth bass, and yellow perch.

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