North Central Washington: Fishing for summer chinook and sockeye salmon opens July 1 on the Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam up to Wells Dam, and from Brewster to Chief Joseph Dam. The river section from Wells Dam to the Highway 173 Bridge at Brewster opens July 16.
"The chinook fishing is expected to be about same as last year," said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Regional Fish Program Manager Jeff Korth. "But sockeye fishing should be much better
Anglers should also note that the Yo Yo, Old Vantage Highway, Sunland Estates and Frenchman Coulee water access sites on the Columbia River remain closed through Oct. 31 while repair work on Wanapum Dam continues.
WDFW Chelan District Fish Biologist Travis Maitland said the ongoing spring chinook salmon fishery on the Icicle River will continue through July and should be producing fish of decent quality for about the first week or two of the month.
"As for the Wenatchee River spring chinook fishery," Maitland said, "I foresee it lasting sometime into July but not necessarily through the end of the month. Anglers are also starting to catch a few Wenatchee summer chinook as well in this fishery, which are typically larger and will be considerably brighter fish than the spring chinook in July."
Banks Lake anglers are mostly targeting walleye and having mixed results, reports Aulin Smith, of WDFW's Banks Lake Evaluation Project team. "About 80 percent of our walleye population in Banks Lake is comprised of two year olds," Smith said. "So anglers are catching lots of fish, but finding walleye over the required 16-inch minimum takes some work."
Smith also noted that Banks Lake bass fishing is good, with both smallmouth and largemouth taking a variety of presentations. "Perch and rainbow trout are also showing up in the creel," he said. "I recently checked a shore angler with a 24-inch landlocked chinook salmon. I enjoy trolling crankbaits this time of year because you can cover a lot of water and just about all species of fish in the lake are willing to strike at it."
Okanogan County lake fishing for a variety of species can be very good through July.
Larry Stillwaugh of WDFW's Omak Trout Hatchery said there have been reports that Blue Lake on Limebelt Road near Omak is producing nice brook and rainbow trout from 13 to 16 inches.
"Spectacle Lake is kicking out lots of bluegill," Stillwaugh said. "Bonaparte, Leader, Conconully Reservoir and Conconully Lake are always good bets for kokanee and rainbows 10 inches and up. And there are lots of bass in all those lakes. Fanchers Dam Reservoir near Tonasket has brook and rainbow trout that run 12 to 16 inches. Palmer Lake is red hot for perch and crappie. Patterson Lake should be a great bet for kokanee, and Omak Lake has Lahontan cutthroat trout."
Stillwaugh says Fish Lake on WDFW's Sinlahekin Wildlife Area has been good with 12-inch rainbows. "And Reflection Pond, on the north end of the Sinlahekin, probably still has lots of fish leftover from our extra stocking for Free Fishing Weekend and the 75th anniversary celebration on June 7," he said.