North Central Washington: Some of the best fishing in the region this month is the spring chinook salmon fishery on the Icicle River in Chelan County that opened May 20 and the Wenatchee River that opened May 23.
There are about 6,000 hatchery origin chinook predicted to return to the Icicle, said WDFW district fish biologist Travis Maitland of Wenatchee. Thats well beyond levels needed to fulfill hatchery broodstock requirements, so there should be a lot of fish available for harvest.
The Icicle salmon season runs through July 31. The Wenatchee season could close earlier, depending on harvest rates, and anglers are encouraged to check on the status of the fishery frequently. Both havea daily limit of two adipose fin clipped spring chinook (adult or jack), minimum size 12 inches. All details are in the emergency rule change.
June is usually a good month to fish Banks Lake, the Columbia River reservoir that stretches from Coulee City at the south to Electric City at the north. Both smallmouth and largemouth bass are available, along with rainbow trout, walleye, kokanee, yellow perch, and black crappie.
Potholes Reservoir, south of the city of Moses Lake in Grant County, and Moses Lake right in town, are also good spots for smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing this month. Walleye fishing at both of these big waters can also be good in June.
Youth fishing events are scheduled this month in Douglas and Okanogan counties. The Bridgeport Days kids fishing derby is June 6 on Bridgeport Lagoon; call the City of Bridgeport at (509) 686-4041 for more information. Bonaparte Lake in Okanogan County is the scene of a kids fishing event on June 13; call the U.S. Forest Services Tonakset Ranger District office at (509) 486-2168 for more information. June 13 is also the date for the Winthrop kids fishing day; contact the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery at (509) 996-2424 for more information.
Newcomers to fishing have a chance to try out the sport during Free Fishing Weekend, June 6-7. During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. No vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the nearly 700 water-access sites maintained by WDFW.
Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to for anglers to introduce friends or family to the sport, said Chris Donley, WDFW inland fish program manager. Its also a good time for those anglers who have not taken up a rod and reel in years to get back into it.