Salmon and steelhead

Guide Craig Dowdy of YJ Guide Service had a fairly productive five-day salmon outing recently at Chelan Falls, netting 12 keeper adult chinook as well as several jacks and dozens of what he called “mini jacks” – juvenile chinook about a foot in length. Salmon anglers at Chelan Falls can keep up to six fish a day, but only two can be adults.

Washington State fishery managers have declared a night closure for salmon and steelhead fishing on a large stretch of the Columbia River and two of its tributaries because of concerns about this year’s summer steelhead run. Ryan Lothrop, Columbia River coordinator for the WDFW, said that midway through the run, the count of hatchery and wild steelhead passing the dam is running short of the pace needed to reach the preseason projections. On the Columbia River, the night closure will be in effect from Buoy 10 upriver to the Highway 395 Bridge in Pasco. The night closure and the steelhead fishing closure will be in effect in Drano Lake and from the mouth of the Wind River to 400 feet below the Shipherd Falls fish ladder. Anglers fishing for other species such as northern pikeminnow and walleye can continue to fish at night in Washington waters.

Fall chinook are entering the Columbia Gorge and trollers dragging Super Baits and flashers close to the bottom are beginning to net fish.

The daily limit of hatchery chinook salmon has been increased to two in Marine Area 11 (Tacoma-Vashon Island) except at year-round docks and piers where the limit is one chinook Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton) has been closed to the retention of hatchery chinook.

Trollers targeting chinook are having some success on Lake Chelan. The cutthroat bite is said to be better. On Lake Coeur d’Alene, the chinook seem to have disappeared. A recent salmon derby weighed only six fish in five days – the worst ever.

Trout and kokanee

Waitts Lake is a bright spot for trout fishermen this summer, as there seems to be no problem catching lots of rainbow and browns. Trolling is most popular.

A friend who recently fished Twin Lakes at Inchelium said the trout fishing was phenomenal for large rainbow. He caught several the size of steelhead, and added they made excellent table fare.

A report from Sullivan Lake said the water is loaded with kokanee, but none is more than 9 inches long and they are deep – 35 to 80 feet down.

I heard rumors that the Loon Lake night fishing bite on kokanee was beginning late, but a friend and I fished in front of Granite Point in 33 feet of water Tuesday night for limits before 11 p.m. Many of the fish were caught between 9 and 9:45. We experienced a dry spell until the bite resumed at 10:30.

Coeur d’Alene kokanee are moving north and 11- to 12-inch fish are being found in abundance at 50 feet from the golf course to Higgins Point.

Spiny ray

For a variety of spiny ray and a hot bite, it would be difficult to top Lake Spokane for everything from perch to bass and even northern pike. Fish the edges of weed beds.

Lake Coeur d’Alene pike have slowed down and spread out, Jeff Smith at Fins and Feathers in Coeur d’Alene said. Spinner baits and spoons are taking most of the fish from 10-15 feet of water in deep weeds.

Anglers trying to stay out of the sun and wind have experienced good smallmouth fishing in the Hawk Creek Canyon and are picking up some of the new rainbow plants.

Trollers dragging small No. 5 Rapalas are catching keeper-size crappie in front of the dunes on Potholes Reservoir. A few nice walleye are also being taken. Catfish (bullheads as well as channel cats) are so numerous they have become annoying to trollers looking for other species. It is thought that with the walleye population down, everything else is more abundant. A few nice crappie were caught recently near the I-90 Bridge on Moses Lake.

Spectacle Lake in Okanogan County northwest of Tonasket is a good place for a mixed bag of spiny ray and kokanee. Largemouth bass to 4 1/2 pounds have been cooperative and the kokanee are all around 15 inches. Spectacle has two private resorts with boat launching facilities, as well as WDFW access site with boat launch.


The WDFW is highlighting a browser-based, hunting regulations web map in time for 2018-19 hunting seasons. The web map, available at regulations/ provides more convenient access to Washington’s 2018-19 hunting regulations by allowing hunters to find permit and general season hunts based on location, date, weapon choice and more. “This web map helps hunters narrow their search to the hunts and hunt areas relevant to them,” said Anis Aoude, game division manager for WDFW. The current release does not include migratory waterfowl and upland game seasons, but those will be available for the 2019-2020 seasons.

Contact Alan Liere at [email protected]


- Advertisement -
Previous articleInside Line: Three parties banking on a German cycling renaissance
Next articleF1 planning to introduce ‘soft budget cap’ from 2019