North Central Washington: Columbia River fisheries in the region are still open, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Regional Fish Program Manager Jeff Korth says there should be some summer chinook salmon milling around the mouth of the Entiat, Chelan, and Methow rivers, as well as the usual areas of the Wells Pool.
Fall chinook salmon fishing season on the Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam to Wanapum Dam opens Aug 30, two days earlier than usual to coincide with the Labor Day weekend. Up to two adult chinook, hatchery or wild, can be retained within the daily limit of six chinook
Salmon Creek, from the Okanogan Irrigation District diversion (upstream of the mouth) to Conconully Reservoir Dam, is open to fishing for smallmouth bass, brook trout, adipose-clipped rainbow trout this month and next to decrease competition with and predation on wild steelhead.
The upper Wenatchee River, from the confluence with Peshastin Creek (above Dryden Dam) to the Hwy. 2 bridge at Leavenworth, opens Sept. 1 for hatchery chinook salmon fishing. The daily catch limit is four, of which only two can be adult fish (24 inches or more). Selective gear rules and a night closure are in effect.
Fishing in the Methow River is usually good in September, but recent flooding and mudslides have affected water quality in portions of the river, said Ryan Fortier, WDFW district fish biologist. "Fishing is OK right now," Fortier said. "But if it rains even a little, all bets are off."
As lake temperatures cool off a bit this month, other fishing waters can be good for trout when the fish become more active. These include Big Twin Lake near Winthrop, Blue Lake on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, and Chopaka Lake near Loomis.
Starting Sept. 1, Davis, Campbell, and Cougar lakes all near Winthrop shift to a catch-and-keep season on trout. However, Campbell and Cougar lakes were affected by this summer's wildfires, Fortier said. For those who use bait to fish Davis Lake, remember that the first five fish caught count towards the daily limit whether kept or released.
For warmwater anglers, lakes such as Moses Lake, Potholes, Roses, Leader, Patterson, and Palmer can provide good opportunities for yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
Sept. 27 is National Hunting and Fishing Day and National Public Lands Day, celebrated on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area in northcentral Okanogan County to close the summer-long "Explore the Sinlahekin" series. The Sept. 27 celebration includes the "Mule Deer Dash," a morning fun run/walk on the Dave Brittell Memorial Trail on the Sinlahekin. An informational fair will feature booths by the Mule Deer Foundation, Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, Okanogan Chapter of Back Country Horsemen, Okanogan Land Trust, Conservation Northwest, and others.