Eastern Washington: Fishing closures and restrictions enacted last month to protect fish during the high water temperatures and low flows from extreme drought conditions continue in the region this month. Those include:
Closed to fishing:
North Fork Touchet River above Spangler Creek.
South Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Griffen Fork and above Griffen Fork.
Wolf Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Coates Creek and Robinson Fork.
Asotin Creek and tributaries (Asotin Co.) from the mouth to headwaters.
Kettle River and all tributaries (Ferry Co.) from the Barstow Bridge to the headwaters, all portions contained within Washington.
Fishing restricted to the hours between midnight and 2 p.m.:
Walla Walla River (Walla Walla Co.) from McDonald Road Bridge to the Oregon State Boundary.
Touchet River (Columbia/Walla Walla Co.) from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South forks.
North Fork Touchet River from the mouth to Spangler Creek.
Tucannon River (Columbia/Garfield Co.) From the Highway 12 Bridge to Cow Camp Bridge.
Spokane River (Spokane/Lincoln Co.) from upstream boundary at Plese Flats Day Use Area to the Idaho State Boundary.
Spokane River tributaries, including Little Spokane River and tributaries (Spokane/Pend Oreille/Stevens Counties) from the State Route 25 Bridge upstream to Monroe Street Dam.
Colville River and all tributaries (Stevens Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.
Sullivan Creek and all tributaries (Pend Oreille Co.) from the mouth to the headwaters.
A moratorium on all Columbia River sturgeon fishing above Bonneville Dam, including the Snake River in the regions southeast district, was also imposed last month and continues. Fishery managers are monitoring stream conditions and will take additional actions if necessary, so anglers are advised to watch for emergency fishing rule changes.
Despite these river and stream restrictions, plenty of fishing opportunity is available throughout the region.
Randy Osborne, WDFW central district fish biologist in Spokane, says that lakes managed for warmwater fish species, such as Newman and Silver lakes in eastern Spokane County, are producing decent catches of yellow perch, crappie, and largemouth bass. Mixed species waters, including Coffeepot Lake in Lincoln County, Downs Lakes in southwest Spokane County, Eloika Lake in north Spokane County, and the Spokane River reservoir of Long Lake (or Lake Spokane) are also providing decent catches of those species and rainbow trout. Anglers are also doing well on both rainbows and largemouth bass at Sprague Lake on the Lincoln-Adams county line.
Be aware that lower water conditions may make launching boats more difficult, Osborne said. Some access sites, like the one owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management at Coffeepot Lake, are closed to launching trailered boats due low water conditions.
Anglers can also find some action at the area trout lakes, Osborne says, but early morning and late evening fishing will produce the best results. These lakes include Amber, Clear, Williams, and West Medical lakes in Spokane County, and Fishtrap Lake in Lincoln County.
The Spokane River has nice rainbows and a few browns, but remember you can only fish from midnight to 2 p.m. from the upper boundary of the Plese Flats Day Use Area to the Idaho State line, he said. That restriction is also in place on all Spokane River tributaries, including the Little Spokane River and all of its tributaries, from the Highway 25 Bridge to Monroe Street Dam. Remember the gear restrictions, too, before fishing any water.
WDFW northeast district fish biologist Bill Baker said kokanee fishing is usually productive in August at Loon Lake in southern Stevens County, and in Bead, Sullivan, and Davis lakes in Pend Oreille County, and Pierre and Deep lakes in Stevens County. Kokanee and walleye fishing can be decent in Lake Roosevelt this month, too.
Baker suggests fishing for trout (rainbow, cutthroat, brook and tiger) in higher elevation lakes on U.S.Forest Service property throughout August. Davis, Ellen, Empire, and Ferry lakes are good bets in Ferry County. In Stevens County, Black, Little Twin, and Summit lakes should be good producers. In Pend Oreille County, anglers should fare well at Carls, Frater, Halfmoon, Mystic, North and South Skookum, Petit, and Yokum lakes.
Lake fishing in the southeast district of the region is largely on the Tucannon River impoundments on the Wooten Wildlife Area in Columbia County, but water temperatures are so warm that fish are not biting. WDFW Wooten manager Kari Dingman reports that no water is going into Big Four Lake due to low river water levels, so the lake has dropped at least four feet. Some water is still going into the other impoundments, but fishing is poor.
Dingman reminds anglers of the midnight-to-2 p.m. fishing restriction on the Tucannon River and that a campfire ban is still in place at Wooten campsites.