Eastern Washington: Salmon/Steelhead: Southeast Washington's Snake River is open Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 for harvest of hatchery-marked (adipose-fin-clipped) fall chinook salmon.
The 2016 Columbia River forecasted return of upriver bright adults is 593,800, with a significant portion of these fish expected to return to the Snake River. Popular steelhead fisheries also occur in the area and some hatchery fall chinook are expected to be caught during steelhead fishing.
The salmon daily limit is six hatchery fall chinook adults (at least 24 inches) and six hatchery jack fall chinook (less than 24 inches). The minimum size for chinook that can be retained in the Snake River is 12 inches. Up to three hatchery steelhead may be retained daily, but once they are, anglers must stop fishing for salmon and steelhead for the day, regardless of whether the salmon daily limit has been retained.
All chinook and steelhead with unclipped adipose fins cannot be removed from the water and must be immediately released unharmed. Anglers must use barbless hooks when fishing for chinook or steelhead in the Snake River and the Snake River Confluence Protection Area.
Trout / Mixed Species: This month is the last chance to fish several of the region's rainbow and/or cutthroat trout fishing lakes. Closing Sept. 30 is Fishtrap Lake in Lincoln County and Badger, Williams, and West Medical lakes in southwest Spokane County.
Fish Lake in Spokane County also provides anglers the unique opportunity to catch eastern brook trout until Sept. 30. Another southwest Spokane County lake changes seasons soon Amber Lake shifts to catch-and-release-only on Oct. 1.
Spokane County's Downs Lake and Lincoln County's Coffeepot Lake also close at the end of the month but can yield good catches of yellow perch, black crappie, and rainbow trout during September.
Plenty of other lakes throughout the region remain open through October or year-round. Clear Lake, near the town of Medical Lake in Spokane County, typically produces good catches of brown trout, crappie, and largemouth bass as fall advances. Other lakes continue to provide good fishing for bass and panfish, including Spokane County's Silver, Liberty, and Newman lakes.
Year-round-open Lake Roosevelt and Sprague Lake both offer good-size rainbows in September. Lake Spokane (Long Lake) is usually good this month for both largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and rainbow trout.