Eastern Washington: July in the region is when anglers can focus on fishing for many mixed species, from trout to bass and other "warmwater" fish.
"As lake water temperatures rise in area lakes, trout angling often slows down and warmwater fish species heat up," said Marc Divens, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) fish biologist. "Those include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill, black crappie, walleye, tiger muskie, bullhead catfish, and channel catfish."
Divens recommends the following lakes and species for summertime fishing, and notes that most lakes also have fishable populations of bullhead catfish:
Newman Lake, in eastern Spokane County, for largemouth bass, black crappie and tiger muskie.
Liberty Lake, in eastern Spokane County, for largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill and black crappie.
Silver Lake, in Spokane County near the town of Medical Lake, for largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegill and tiger muskie.
Downs Lake, in southwest Spokane County near Sprague, for largemouth bass, yellow perch and black crappie.
Clear Lake, in Spokane County near the town of Medical Lake, for largemouth bass and bluegill.
Deer Lake, in southern Stevens County, for smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Lake Roosevelt, the Columbia River reservoir off Grand Coulee Dam, for walleye and smallmouth bass.
Pend Oreille River Box Canyon Reservoir for smallmouth bass.
Curlew Lake, in Ferry County, for largemouth bass.
Sprague Lake, in Lincoln and Adams counties south of I-90, for largemouth bass and channel catfish.
Lake Spokane, or Long Lake, the Spokane River reservoir, for smallmouth and largemouth bass, yellow perch and black crappie.
Snake and Palouse rivers in the southeast part of the region for smallmouth bass, channel catfish and black crappie.
Grande Ronde River in Asotin County for smallmouth bass.
Diamond Lake, near Newport in Pend Oreille County, for yellow perch.
Waitts Lake, in southern Stevens County, for yellow perch.
WDFW Central District Fish Biologist Randy Osborne says catches of black crappie and yellow perch are already pretty good at Bonnie and Downs lakes in southwest Spokane County. Newman Lake also has been fishing well for largemouth bass and some really nice black crappie when anglers put in the time to locate them.
But Osborne also says anglers don't have to give up on trout fishing this summer.
"Water temperatures can remain cool enough for decent trout fishing, and you can still reap the benefits of our Father's Day weekend extra stocking of jumbo triploid rainbows at West Medical and Williams lakes in Spokane County," he said. "Clear Lake is also producing some good catches of rainbows, and although a little spotty, anglers at Fish Lake are still finding some decent fishing for rainbow and brook trout. Sprague Lake remains good for rainbow trout, too."
Osborne also noted trout fishing at Long Lake (Lake Spokane) should improve with the triploid rainbows that were stocked in May and June. That fishery will build with an agreement between Avista and WDFW to stock 155,000 triploid rainbows annually for the next 10 years.
WDFW Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area Manager Juli Anderson reports "varied" fishing success at the Lincoln County area's Z-Lake, with some anglers getting few bites and smaller rainbows and others reeling in trout over 20 inches long. Anderson reminds anglers that Z-Lake is walk-in only and rattlesnakes and ticks are common.
WDFW Wooten Wildlife Area Manager Kari Dingman said fishing at the small lakes on the Columbia County area slows down in July with warmer weather, but Tucannon River fishing picks up. Dingman noted the parking area for Blue Lake closes July 1 to use the site for a large wood project under way on the Wooten through the middle of August. Campground 10 will also be closed July 7-12 to use that site for the project's helicopter landing area.