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Your guide to fishing in Okanogan & Ferry Counties!

A supplement to The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle April 15, 2015


Page 2 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash.

Region offers state’s best fishing Kokanee gaining favor; more planted By Al Camp The Chronicle Fishing should remain among the best in the state in lakes, streams and rivers in Okanogan and Ferry counties and the Colville Indian Reservation in 2015. The state general fishing season runs April 25 to Oct. 21. Some state lakes opened April 1 and may have earlier ending dates. Reservation waters open to the general public opened April 11 and will run to Oct. 31. Among notable changes by the state this year is the introduction of more kokanee in some waters, a few lakes continuing to have problems with low water levels and lakes in the Carlton Complex fire suffering from deposits of ash and dirt. “The opening day went really well, with a lot of people reporting catching their limit” at Spectacle since it opened April 1, Okanogan County District Fisheries Biologist Ryan Fortier said. The lake is stocked with kokanee, browns, rainbows and triploid rainbow trout. The kokanee plant will be increased to 85,000 or so, Fortier said, after hearing some anglers were happy with their catches, including some fish up to 15 to 16 inches. “Kokanee is one of the fastest growing interests in the state,” Fortier said. “We are trying to keep up with people’s interests and provide more opportunity.” Lakes affected by the Carlton Complex include Cougar, Campbell and Pearrygin lakes in the Methow Valley. The lakes received a lot of ash

Sandy Ervin/Special to The Chronicle

Brynne Patrick, 5, of Cashmere, shows off her trout caught at Fish Lake Memorial Day weekend last year. and, with heavy rains, a lot of dirt. Perhaps the hardest hit was little Cougar Lake. “I suspect the lake suffered a complete fish kill,” Fortier said. “So we will be planting catchables this

season and evaluate the long-term fish management. We will decide later if we put fingerlings in there based on conditions this summer.” The boat launches at Davis and Campbell were heavily impacted

during the fire. “I am not sure if (Davis boat launch) will be open or not. Certain people might be able to get their vehicles in there.” Additional fish will be planted at nearby Davis Lake to compensate for the loss in Campbell and Cougar lakes, Fortier said. Another Methow Valley lake, Pearrygin, suffered a large fish kill in November. Ash and dirt appear to have entered the lake all summer from Pearrygin Creek, Fortier said. “It provided nutrients to the lake throughout the summer and fall. When the lake turned over in the fall we had a large algae bloom.” When the algae died, it removed oxygen from the lake and fish died. “We are going to put a large number of catchables (rainbows) into the lake,” Fortier said. Alta Lake State Park should be open with a useable boat launch for the opener. The land around the lake, much like the community there, was especially hard hit by the fire in terms of damage, Fortier said. Several lakes in the Sinlahekin Valley (Fish, Blue, Forde, Conner) and especially Ell Lake in the Aeneas Valley continue to suffer from lower-than-normal water levels. Okanogan County waters that could be rehabilitated this fall due to illegally planted species include Big Beaver, Little Beaver and Beth lakes (bluegill) on the east side, Green Lakes west of Okanogan and Omak, and Rat Lake (bullheads) near Brewster. Like last year, 2015 is shaping up to be warm early, which means fish grow bigger, faster. The early thaw should help selective gear or fly fishing waters

like Chopaka and Blue in the Sinlahekin and Big Twin in the Methow Valley. A few less triploid trout (1-1.5 pounds each) will be planted in county lakes this season. But the loss will be compensated with a few more jumbo trout (about one pound each) being planted, Fortier said. State crews began this year’s stocking program in March and will continue through June. All opening day lakes will be stocked prior to the opener on April 25. To put that perspective, if the catchable trout being released were laid end to end, they would stretch from Westport to Spokane. The state’s current 2014-15 fishing regulation pamphlet, which is good through the month of June, will remain fairly unchanged for area lakes. The next rule pamphlet, which takes effect July 1, will include a new statewide stream rule with waters closed unless opened by rule, regional fish biologist Jeff Korth said. The new pamphlet was unavailable as of the Fishrapper deadline in mid-April. Salmon and steelhead regulations/seasons change during the summer depending on counts over dams and federal agreements

Fishrapper © 2015 The Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle Owned and operated by Eagle Newspapers Inc. 618 Okoma Drive, Omak, Wash. P.O. Box 553, Omak WA 98841 Roger Harnack, Editor and Publisher Al Camp, Sports Editor Teresa Myers, Advertising Manager 509-826-1110 • 800-572-3446 509-826-5819 fax • www.omakchronicle.com

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2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 3 on the Columbia River. “It’s going to be a bit confusing until anglers get used to it,” Korth said. “However, my feeling is that overall there was more opportunity to open streams under selective gear rules and/or catch-and-release than formerly offered.” The state’s Fish Washington website, available from the department’s home page at wdfw.wa.gov, provides the latest when’s, where’s and how-to’s of fishing throughout the state. Anglers must possess a current Washington freshwater fishing license, valid through March 31, 2016. Licenses can be purchased online at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov; by telephone at 866-246-9453; or from about 700 license dealers across the state. For license vendor locations, visit the state Fish and Wildlife website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/. The cost for various licenses remains the same, Fortier said. Favorite Okanogan County waters included the Conconully lakes, Spectacle, Wannacut, Pearrygin, Alta and Fish lakes. The early thaw should help selective gear or fly fishing waters like Chopaka and Blue in the Sinlahekin and Big Twin in the Methow Valley A variety of fish also can be found on the Colville Indian Reservation. Its season

opened April 11. Anglers flock from miles to fish the region for brook, brown, cutthroat, rainbow and tiger trout, as well as bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish, kokanee and triploids. Anglers can dip their lines in 67 lowland lakes managed by the state in Okanogan County, which represents about 18 percent of the state’s managed lakes. The county also contains 110 alpine lakes above 4,500 feet. Ferry County sports lots of opportunities that shine generally a little later in the year in a dozen highland lakes. The Colville Indian Reservation includes a total of 26 lakes and creeks with a large variety of species. The Colville Confederated Tribes’ general fishing season is April 11 to Oct. 31. Streams close Oct. 31 unless otherwise specified under special regulations. (See separate stories for Colville Reservation and Ferry County prospects.) Rivers, streams and beaver ponds, unless otherwise noted, open the first Saturday in June (June 6 this year) and remain open through Oct. 31. Some rivers will open the Saturday before Memorial Day, listed within the special regulations section of the state pamphlet. Other rivers are open year-round. Best success comes by fishing lowland lakes early. As the weather warms, fishing improves at higher-elevation lakes.

The statewide free fishing weekend is June 6-7. The Fishrapper splits Okanogan County’s major waters into major geographical areas – Okanogan Valley, Methow Valley, Highlands and selective fisheries. There are also sections for tribal waters and Ferry County. Okanogan Valley Beaver Lake — The 8-acre lake, which is open all year, received a planting of 500fingerling cutthroat in September. To reach Beaver Lake, a couple miles north of the Loup Loup Ski Bowl southwest of Okanogan, turn off state Highway 20 and go north past the ski hill to a trailhead. The lake, which is fun to fish from a float tube, is an easy hike of a couple miles. Blue Lake — The 16-acre lake open year round is located in the Limebelt north of Omak and offers rainbows and triploid Eastern brook trout (2,000 fry in April last year) up to 11 inches. To reach the lake, travel west from Okanogan or Omak to Conconully Highway and head north to the sign pointing to the lake. The four-mile dirt road can be impassable in the spring due to rain. Although there is no boat ramp, anglers can carry canoes or small rowboats to the lake at the south end or navigate a steep hill on the north end. Columbia River — The Columbia, open for specific species, provides many opportunities, except for steelhead (all trout) and salmon. Steelhead and salmon are open along

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Al Camp/The Chronicle

An angler holds up his 2014 opening day catch at Conconully Lake.

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specific stretches of the river for short seasons announced under emergency openers. There is a year-round season for all game fish except salmon, steelhead and sturgeon. There is a July 16 to August 31 season for salmon between Wells Dam and the state Highway 173 bridge at Brewster. From the state Highway 173 bridge to Chief Joseph Dam, the trout season is June 1 to Aug. 15. Check the state pamphlet for size and daily limits. “The proposal for 2015 is an eight-salmon limit again, with up to six sockeye and up to two hatchery adult Chinook allowed,” Korth said. “Any Jack Chinook is also allowed to fill out the limit.” Any sturgeon caught must be released. There are no size restrictions or daily limits for bass, channel catfish and walleye. Walleye fishing is predominant from January to June. Anglers should check the state fishing pamphlet for daily catch limits and walleye limits, which are different for Lake Roosevelt (above Grand Coulee Dam) than the rest of the river. Walleye fishing has become popular on the stretch of river bordering Douglas County. Walleye can be caught below Chief Joseph Dam, as well as most of Rufus Woods Lake. The river also has become a favorite for smallmouth bass, though largemouth bass also reside in the water. There are good boat launching facilities at Brewster, Pateros and Bridgeport, which recently added a new launch with a parking lot and bathrooms.

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Page 4 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. It is lawful to fish to the base of the Washburn Island Pond outlet structure near Brewster. Conconully Lake — The upper (Salmon Lake) is open the fourth weekend in April (April 25) to Oct. 31 and contains large triploids in the 1- to 2-pound range along with rainbows in the 11- to 13-inch range with carryovers to 16 inches. The 313-acre lake also contains kokanee and some bass, which are not yet affecting the size or catch rates for trout, but could in the long term. Low water levels continue at both the upper lake and lower reservoir. “From a productivity point of view, when lakes get low the size of fish can be affected,” Fortier said. “Low water is expected this year (at the lake and reservoir) with the early snow melt. The expectation is fishing will be similar to last year.” The planting scheduled for the lake, located east of Conconully and 15 miles northwest of Okanogan, includes 20,000 rainbow fingerlings in June, 4,250 catchable rainbows in October, 4,000 catchable rainbows in April, 250 jumbo rainbows and 100 triploids in May and 25,000 kokanee in March. Conconully Lake includes a graveled state boat launch with toilets and a wheelchairaccessible dock. A fee is required to use the launch for boats on trailers A state park is in town next to the Conconully Reservoir. Conconully Reservoir — Anglers can expect rainbow trout averaging 9-11 inches with a few carryovers up to 16 inches. The reservoir, which averages 450 acres when full, is located south of Conconully and is open the April 25 to Oct. 31. There are a couple resorts and a state park. The lake was planted with 25,000 kokanee in March, 20,000 rainbows in June, 4,250 catchable rainbows in October and 4,000 catchable rainbows in April, and 250 jumbo rainbows and 100 triploids in May. Conner Lake — Located near Forde Lake, this 25-acre lake (sometimes called Connors Lake) in the Sinlahekin was planted with 350 triploid Eastern brook trout and 350 tiger trout in May. The lake, which is open April 25 to Oct. 31, could also contain Eastern brook that propagate naturally in Sinlahekin Creek. Anglers can expect fish in the 9- to 13inch range. Travel south from Loomis five miles on Sinlahekin Road. There is a small gravel boat launch, with the lake best fished with a small boat, canoe or float tube in May and June. Access gets difficult in mid- to late summer due to growth of weeds and brush. Fish Lake — This 102-acre lake, located four miles northeast of Conconully, is one of the county’s more popular lakes, especially on opening day. Lower water levels are expected again this year, which can affect fish size. “We are not making any dramatic changes,” Fortier said. “The environmental conditions are not so different that it warrants a reevaluation of the management plan.” There are two public access areas with launches and toilets are available. The lake boots out rainbows in the 10- to

12-inch range with carryovers to 15 inches. The lake received 200 larger rainbows, about a pound each, and 2,000 legal-size rainbows in April. The lake also received a plant in June of 11,000 fry, which are now legal size. The season runs April 25 to Oct. 31. Anglers can reach the lake by traveling either 4.5 miles northeast from Conconully on a dirt road past the upper lake and Sugarloaf Lake or go north on U.S. Highway 97 for 5.5 miles from Riverside, then west on Pine Creek Road for about nine miles. Forde Lake — The 9-acre lake in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area normally is not planted but does contain naturally reproducing Eastern brook trout in the 8- to 10-inch range. The nearby 3-acre Reflection Lake was planted with 200 triploid Eastern brook in May and could hold a few carryover tiger trout. Forde, built as an impoundment pond in 1949, is open April 25 to Oct. 31. Although there is a small, public boatlaunching area next to the road, the lake is best fished early before weed growth increases. A small boat or float tube works best at the lake, located about 6 miles south of Loomis on Sinlahekin Road. Expect low water at Forde and Reflection, Fortier said. Green Lakes — Green, the larger lake at 45 acres, and to the south 9-acre Little Green are both being considered for rehabilitation (mostly bluegill) in October due to the introduction of warmwater species. Big Green received 300 catchable rainbows and Little Green 100 catchable rainbows in April last year. Both lakes, located about five miles northwest of Okanogan and Omak, are open to catch-and-release, selective gear rules fishing only from April 1 through Nov. 30. Electric motors can be used on both Green lakes during the selective gear rules portion of the season. From Dec. 1 through March 31, the lakes switch to a “catch-and-keep” special winter season, without selective gear rules. In the past at the larger lake, fish could reach the 11-13 inch range with carryovers to 15 inches. Big Green Lake includes a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access area with campsites and a concrete boat launch. Little Green Lake normally boots out 10to 11-inch rainbow trout as well as some carryover rainbows to 15 inches. Both lakes are nestled in a steep valley where it gets dark an hour before normal. The larger lake is somewhat disabledaccessible, though access is steep. The lower lake has a dirt path. The lakes can be reached by following Salmon Creek Road northwest out of Okanogan for 4.5 miles, then a mile north on Green Lake Road. Anglers also can access the lake by taking Green Lake Road off the Conconully Highway about five miles northwest of Omak. Travel past Brown Lake to reach Big Green. Jasmine Creek — This is a juvenileonly water open year round in the south end of Omak. The creek runs from the Omak Fish Hatchery into the Okanogan River. Anglers must be 14 and younger to fish

the creek, which holds a few rainbows. Leader Lake — Leader, open yearround, is located seven miles west of Okanogan off state Highway 20. “It had a pretty good, popular ice fishery this past winter,” Fortier said. “There were a lot of crappie and bluegill harvested. They were even fishing it Super Bowl Sunday. I was surprised to see how many individuals were out there. The ice fishery is catching on fast.” The popular, 159-acre lake should provide good fishing early in the season for yearling rainbow trout up to 14 inches and larger carryovers. The lake was planted with 4,000 legalsize trout in April and another 2,000 in October, and 200 jumbo trout in May. Trout fishing is best April through June. The lake also includes bass, which are best caught May through July. Leader includes a Department of Natural Resources campground at both sides of the lake with toilets. Boats can be carried in or launched at a launching facility. Okanogan River — This river flows from Lake Osoyoos near Oroville and the Canadian border south to the Columbia River near Brewster. It can be good for steelhead when an emergency opener occurs, which has been approximately October to early the next year for the last few seasons. Because steelhead are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, fisheries have been modified substantially for all fish species in the river. A steelhead fishery is dependent upon run size that exceeds natural-origin escapement requirements. There has been a summer Chinook season. From the mouth to the U.S. Highway 97 bridge immediately upstream from the mouth, there is a July 1 to Oct. 15 season for Chinook. From the lower bridge to the bridge from U.S. Highway 97 into Malott and continuing north to the bridge over the Okanogan River into Oroville there is a July 1 to Sept. 15 season for Chinook. Current regulations expire at the end of June. Check regulations starting July 1 for open seasons. Smallmouth bass are the best bet, with fish averaging 10-12 inches, though some can exceed three pounds. There are no size restrictions or daily limits for bass, channel catfish or walleye.

Boat launches include a large one in Brewster on the Columbia, a rough launch at the west end of the Monse bridge and launches in Okanogan and Riverside. Most shorelines are privately owned, so float trips offer the best fishing opportunity. Osoyoos Lake — Open year-round, the lake is located a mile north of Oroville and spans the U.S.-Canadian border. Of the lake’s 5,723 acres, 2,036 acres lie in the U.S. Anglers can expect smallmouth and largemouth bass, a few rainbow, kokanee and perch. A few naturally occurring populations of rainbow trout up to 14 inches and larger reside in the lake, as do kokanee in the 10- to 12-inch range. The lake also offers good smallmouth bass fishing spring through fall. Yellow perch can be caught through the ice if winter conditions get cold enough. A boat launch is near the outlet to the Okanogan River. There also is a park with boat launch at Boundary Point about four miles north of town off U.S. Highway 97. Palmer Lake — Some good-sized kokanee, some up to 15 to 16 inches, are being hauled out this spring from the 2,063acre lake about four miles north of Loomis. “During the Spectacle opener April 1 I saw quite a few boats driving past to Palmer,” Fortier said. The lake also is popular for 10- to 14-inch bass, both smallmouth and largemouth. Palmer, which is one of the state’s most diverse fishing experiences in a managed lake, is open all year, although best fished in May and June. There were 115,000 kokanee fry planted in March last year that should be legal size now. Other fish in the lake include naturally spawning rainbow, yellow perch (6-10 inches), bass (1-3 pound range) crappie, pikeminnows and a few burbot (freshwater ling, primarily a winter fishery). Perch fishing can be excellent through the ice in the winter. Burbot anglers must comply with the statewide rule of one line with up to three hooks (unless other, more restrictive rules are in effect). There is a U.S. Bureau of Land Management access site with concrete boat launch on the south end and a Department of Natural Resources launch site with gravel launch and camping areas on the north end. There is one resort with cabins, RV spots and small boat rentals available.

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2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 5 Rat Lake — This 63-acre lake located five miles north of Brewster off Paradise Hill Road sports a split season. The lake is on a proposed rehab list for this fall due to an overabundance of bullheads, Fortier said. It is open under catch-andrelease, selective gear rules fishing only April 1 through Nov. 30. Internal combustion motors are prohibited. Electric motors can be used during the selective gear rules season. There is a winter catch-andkeep fishery Dec. 1 to March 31 without selective gear rules. Statewide rules apply for daily limits and minimum size. Fingerlings planted at the lake – 1,000 brown trout and 11,000 rainbows in May – will enter the fishery on opening day. The lake also received a total of 2,500 legalsized rainbows in April and October. Expect rainbows in the 11- to 15inch range and brown trout of 1012 inches with carryovers up to 16 inches. Drive 3.5 miles north from Brewster up Swamp Creek, and then take a dirt road two miles north up Whitestone Creek. There is a state concrete boat launch, but access may be a problem in winter since the road is not plowed. Reflection Pond — The threeacre water, sometimes also referred to as Reflection Lake, is located in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area six miles south of Loomis near Forde Lake. Open April 25 through Oct. 31, the lake received 200 fingerling triploid Eastern brook in May last year. Tiger trout have been planted in the past at the lake, which is “just a little low,” Fortier said. This is a very small, scenic lake that lends itself well to float tubes and very small boats. Rock Lake — This open-yearround system of two lakes, which are on state land, are now managed for rainbow trout, which are a bit

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A bullhead, with a face only another bullhead could love, have infested Rat Lake near Brewster. bigger in the upper lake than the lower lake. The plant was increased last year, with the upper lake received 2,000 fingerling rainbows and the lower lake getting 1,000 fingerlings in June. In the past, the lakes, which are low, received a few Eastern brook and tiger trout. There is a Department of Natural Resources campsite above the lakes with a short, steep trail leading down to the waters. Fishing is best from shore or from a small raft or float tube. The lakes are located 11 miles northwest of Okanogan. Drive west on state Highway 20, then north on Rock Lake Road. Rufus Woods Lake — The 51mile-long lake, which is open year round, is actually a river reservoir behind Chief Joseph Dam on the Columbia River just upstream from Bridgeport. Anglers enjoy fishing for triploid rainbows up to12 pounds near net pens adjacent to the

Colville Indian Reservation (downstream from Nespelem River) and Columbia River Road. There is a two-trout fish limit and kokanee count as part of the trout limit on the water that forms the border between Douglas County and Colville Indian Reservation in Okanogan County Other species include walleye (best caught near Elmer City), kokanee, yellow perch and a few smallmouth bass. It’s illegal to fish for sturgeon. The state has an agreement with the tribe to accept tribal or state licenses if the angler is on the water. Anglers must have a state license if fishing on the Douglas County side from the shore. On the Okanogan County (reservation) side, anglers can possess either a state or a tribal license when fishing from shore at marked, designated tribal fishing areas. Otherwise, a tribal license is required to fish from the shore on the reservation. Consult the tribe’s sport fishing

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pamphlet for all regulations concerning boundary waters and what licenses are required. Boundary waters include Lake Rufus Woods (Chief Joseph Dam pool), Crawfish Lake, Lake Pateros (Wells Dam pool), Washburn Island Pond, Okanogan River and Lake Roosevelt (Grand Coulee Dam pool). Steelhead are unable to reach the lake because there is no fish ladder over Chief Joseph Dam. Some triploids do escape through the dam to the Wells Dam pool, where it is legal to catch them if they possess a floy tag. Otherwise, they must be released because they still possess an adipose fin. Statewide minimum size and daily limits apply. Marked, designated launching areas include Seaton’s Grove Corps of Engineers site two miles downstream from Elmer City, Bridgeport State Park near the lower end, and the Army Corps of Engineers’ site upstream of Chief

Joseph Dam on the Douglas County side. Anglers can travel 22 miles south from Okanogan on U.S. Highway 97, then east for eight miles on state Highway 17 to a boat launch near Chief Joseph Dam. Salmon Creek — Salmon Creek from the Conconully Reservoir to the Okanogan River is closed to protect spawning steelhead. Salmon Creek’s north fork and west fork, which flow into Conconully Reservoir, have a season that runs from Saturday before Memorial Day through Oct. 31. Statewide minimum size and daily limits apply, as do selective gear rules. Bait is not allowed. Schalow Pond — This 7-acre lake is located on a path a mile southeast from Fish Lake in the Sinlahekin. Following a rehabilitation in the fall of 2011, the lake was replanted with triploid Eastern brook trout, including 250 fingerlings in May last year. Trout fishing should be good for 10-inch fish at the lake, which like many in the area, is lower than normal. Heavy weed growth during the summer makes it difficult to fish by midsummer the lake, where float tubes work best. There’s limited shore access. Anglers should be wary of rattlesnakes sunning themselves along the path to the lake from the east end of Fish Lake. Open year round, the pond is 4.5 miles northeast of Conconully in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area. Silver Nail Lake — The tiny 5acre lake that is open year round to juveniles only (14 years old and younger) lies four miles north of Oroville off U.S. Highway 97. The lake, which received 200 legal-sized rainbows in April last year, is best fished from a small boat or float tube for trout in the 9to 10-inch range. There is a state Department of Fish and Wildlife parking area. Boats will need to be hand carried


Page 6 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. to the lake edge. Similkameen River — Located west of Oroville, this river extends into Canada and offers fair fishing for winter whitefish in a season of Dec. 1 to March 31 from Enloe Dam to the mouth. There is no minimum size for whitefish, with a daily limit of 15 whitefish only; whitefish gear rules apply. The river enters the U.S. from British Columbia six miles north of Palmer Lake and flows about 18 miles south and east to Oroville, dropping over Enloe Dam before entering the Okanogan River. Fishing is closed for all species from 400 feet below the dam to 400 feet upstream of the dam. Steelhead fishing seasons are open through emergency regulation only as the fish are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. There is a summer Chinook season July 1 to Sept. 15 from the mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam. Check regulations for daily limit rules since they can change each year. Anglers should check the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website for opening dates and restrictions. When steelhead are allowed to be taken, the river is open from the Okanogan River to 400 feet below Enloe Dam. A steelhead fishery is dependent upon run size, which must exceed natural-origin escapement requirements. A road from Oroville follows the river most of its length to Nighthawk. The Similkameen Trail runs from Oroville to the dam. Sinlahekin Creek — Anglers with gumption and guts — rattlesnakes like to slither among the trees and willows — will find a few rainbow trout in this northrunning stream. The creek runs parallel to Sinlahekin Road from Blue Lake in the Sinlahekin Valley to Palmer Lake. From Palmer Lake to Cecile Creek bridge, there is short season

from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Oct. 31 for all game fish. Statewide minimum size and daily limit apply. Selective rules are in effect. There is a whitefish season Dec. 1 to March 31, 2015, with no minimum size and daily limit of 15 whitefish only. Whitefish gear rules apply. From the Cecile Creek bridge upstream to all tributaries there is a season for all game fish from the Saturday before Memorial Day to Oct. 31. Statewide minimum size and daily limit apply. Smith Lake — This 10-acre lake in the Chiliwist south of Malott can be accessed via Olema Road for rainbows. “The road was impacted by the fire, but it is still accessible,” Fortier said. “If the Seven Devils Road is closed, it will make it hard to access the lake from the west side of the county.” The lake, which is on Department of Natural Resources land, is best fished from a small boat or float tube for trout in the 10- to 12-inch range. Best times to fish are May and June, along with September and October. Spectacle Lake — This 313acre lake formed as a reservoir for area orchards is open April 1 to Sept. 30. “The opening day went really well, with a lot of people catching their limit,” Fortier said. “The big thing changing this year is the planting of 85,000 kokanee (fry planted in March) for the first time. Kokanee is one of the fastest growing interests in the state.” Spectacle plantings include 10,000 legal-size rainbows in April, 10,000 brown trout fry in April last year and 125 jumbo rainbows in May. Anglers can expect rainbow trout in the 10- to 12-inch range with holdovers up to 15 inches at the lake nine miles northwest of Tonasket and 2.5 miles east of Loomis off the Loomis-Oroville Road. The lake also contains

largemouth bass, bluegill in the 6to 8-inch range (best fished May to July) and yellow perch. There are three resorts with boat launching facilities. plus a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access site with a concrete boat launch and toilets. Starzman Lakes — These three small lakes on Bureau of Land Management land near Brewster off North Star Road are open year round. The 5.5-acre middle lake, which is the only lake managed by the state, received cutthroat fingerlings in the fall. It’s received in the past rainbows and brook trout. “A DNR access road was heavily impacted by the fires,” Fortier said. “There is no change in fish management.” The 8-acre upper lake, which was not planted last year, has some rainbow (10-13 inches) and triploid Eastern brook trout. Both lakes are best fished from a float tube or from shore. The lower 4.3-acre lake contains largemouth bass and bluegill. Most anglers park and walk down a steep, rough road to the waters, which seem to escape winterkill. Small boats or canoes can be launched if you can get them to the lakes. Head north from Brewster on Old Highway 97 for 1.5 miles, turn left to follow Starzman Creek eight miles to the south end of lower Starzman Lake. Sugarloaf Lake — This 10acre lake north of Conconully Lake, which has dwindled due to drought, has not been planted in the last year. The lake holds a few rainbow and triploid Eastern brook trout, which are in the 8- to 10-inch range. There is a U.S. Forest Service campground with a gravel launch site for small boats. The campground is a favorite of fall deer hunters. (Big) Tiffany Lake — This walk-in lake holds cutthroat trout, which cannot be kept and must be

released if caught, and Eastern brook, with a 10-fish bag limit (to encourage the taking of the brook trout) in the lake and its tributaries. The 20-acre lake, which is fished hard early and open year round, is about 12 miles northwest of Conconully. Little Tiffany Lake, which is about four acres and holds cutthroats (must be released), is 0.7 mile south of Big Tiffany. Wannacut Lake — This 412acre lake north of Whitestone Lake often lags behind warmer, lowerelevation lakes by a few weeks, but continues to be a good fishing lake for rainbow trout in the 10- to 12inch range with a few carryovers up to 14 inches. A small fish kill following a fall planting last year led to the lake receiving a few hundred additional rainbows prior to the opener, Fortier said. The fish biologist the lake had a destratification, possibly due to wind, at the south end that caused fish to be trapped with no oxygen. The lake, which has an April 25 to Oct. 31 season, contains saline water (magnesium sulfate) that makes fish taste especially good. The lake, which is planted only with rainbow trout, received 2,00 legal-sized fish, 150 jumbos and 125 triploids (1-2 pounds each). There were 50,000 fingerlings planted in June last year that should enter the fishery this year. Anglers can go north from Tonasket on the west side of the Okanogan River for 4.5 miles, then west for another 4.5 miles on Loomis-Oroville Road and then north four miles to the south end of the lake. Another route is 2.5 miles south of Oroville on the west side of the Okanogan River, then west three miles past Blue Lake to the north tip of Wannacut on Wannacut Lake Road. The lake is best fished from a boat due to limited shore access. A resort and public access with toilets and launch are available. Washburn Island Pond —

Among the weed beds, anglers are catching largemouth bass, bluegill (some good-sized ones) and channel catfish at this 130-acre diked area off the Columbia River five miles east of Brewster off state Highway 17. The pond, located on the Colville Indian Reservation, has an April 1 to Sept. 30 season. “On opening day, anglers reported large numbers of goodsized bass,” Fortier said. “We stocked about 300 to 400 bass into the lake early last year.” Anglers must possess both state and Colville tribal fishing licenses if fishing from shore on reservation property. A state license is required for fishing from a boat. Statewide minimum size and daily limit rules apply. Largemouth bass run up to a couple pounds at the pond 22 miles south of Okanogan. From Okanogan, travel south on U.S. Highway 97 to the truck weigh station and travel east on state Highway 17 for about a mile to a southbound road to the pond. Use of an internal combustion engine is prohibited, although boaters can have an internal combustion engine attached to their boat. Electric motors are OK. A Douglas County Public Utility District boat launch has been upgraded, with toilets and parking available. Washburn Lake — Expect a short hike to reach triploid Eastern brook trout and a few tiger trout in this 13-acre lake located on Palmer Mountain two miles northeast of Loomis. The lake, which is on U.S. Bureau of Land Management land, is open April 25 to Oct. 31. There is a two-fish limit on triploid Eastern brook trout that reach 12-13 inches. There is a BLM campground with boat access limited to craft that can be carried a short distance to the lake. Go north then west from Loomis on an unimproved road starting near the west end of Spectacle Lake.

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2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 7 Whitestone Lake — Open all year, this 173-acre lake is considered one of the most important warm-water fisheries in the county. The lake is located about five miles northwest of Tonasket with largemouth bass biting well from May through July. Channel catfish were stocked at the lake last fall. “It’s down because of the low level of moisture we had this spring,” Fortier said. “But we should start seeing good-size catfish by the end of the summer.” There is a largemouth bass slot limit with a daily catch limit of five fish less than 12 inches or over 17 inches. No more than one fish can be more than 17 inches. Bass, which are best fished early, can reach the two- to fourpound range. Bluegill in the 4-inch range are in the lake, too. Drive north from Tonasket on the west side of the Okanogan River for 4.5 miles, then west for three miles to the lake. There is a well-developed state Department of Fish and Wildlife public access that includes handicap access along with launch and toilets. Camping is allowed. Methow Valley Alta Lake — Although the Carlton Complex fire burned this area, the park and 184-acre lake will be open for good fishing, Okanogan County state fish biologist Ryan Fortier said. “Fishing should be OK,” Fortier said of the lake west of Pateros that holds rainbows and kokanee. The lake annually boots out rainbows in the 11- to 13-inch range with carryovers up to 16 inches. Kokanee are expected to enter the fishery this year after 25,000 fingerlings were planted in March last year. The lake received 30,000 rainbow fry in April last year, then 125 jumbos, 150 triploid and 750 legal rainbows this April.

4,300 feet elevation and sees a lot of action from backpackers and horse packers. Travel about 20 miles from Winthrop on the Lost River Road past Mazama on the Mazama Road. A one- to two-day hike to the lake starts at the head of Lost River at the Billy Goat Corral. Black Pine Lake – This 19acre scenic lake that is open all year is located on U.S. Forest Service property six miles southwest of Twisp at 3,900 feet. Fishing holds up well all summer for cutthroat trout in the 10- to 13-inch range. The state planted 2,000 cutthroat fingerlings in October. There is a Forest Service campsite at the lake with a dock and gravel boat launch. A snowmobile will be needed to access the lake during the winter. To reach the lake, travel northwest on Libby Creek Road, off state Highway 153 south of Carlton, to Black Pine Lake Road to the lake. Alternatively, travel west on Twisp River Road out of Twisp to Poorman Creek Road, then southwest to the lake. Cougar Lake — This catchand-release lake is open April 1 through Aug. 31, the same as for nearby Davis and Campbell lakes. “This lake suffered the worst damage from the Carlton Complex fire of any other waters,” Fortier said of ash and eroding dirt entering the 9-acre lake. “I suspect the lake suffered a complete fish kill.” The lake was scheduled to receive 600 catchable rainbows in April. “We will be evaluating the longterm fish manage of the lake,” said Fortier, who said he’s received calls by people upset by the damage to the lake. “We will decide later if we put fingerlings in there based on conditions this summer.” There is a catch-and-keep season of Sept. 1 to March 31 with a standard five-fish limit. Cougar is located south of Winthrop in the Methow Wildlife

The Chronicle

The Methow Valley offers scenic views for any angler or traveler. Aspen Lake — This shallow, 6acre lake, which is open year round, is owned by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and sometimes suffers from winter kill. The semi-remote lake, 0.7 mile southwest of Moccasin Lake (a private lake), holds triploid Eastern brooks, tiger trout and possibly a few holdover cutthroat trout. “Anglers can look forward to catching tiger trout next season,” Fortier said. “They are still growing.” The lake received 100 tiger trout fingerlings and 500 triploid eastern brook fry in April, last year. Anglers can park at the end of Frost Road and walk about a mile to the lake, which is best fished with tubes or from shore. Fish average 10-11 inches. Big Buck Lake — The seldomfished lake, which has received rainbow plants in the past, has a year-round season.

There is a state park with camping and a concrete boat launch, a private resort that can launch larger boats and an 18-hole golf course on the road to the lake, located two miles southwest of Pateros. The lake, which is ideal for small boats and canoes, has a season that runs April 25 to Sept. 30. Alta is reached by driving 1.5 miles west of Pateros on state Highway 153, then south about a mile. Andrews Creek — Open from June 6 and through Oct. 31, Andrews offers native rainbows. There is a two-fish limit. Fish must be eight inches long. Depending on the snow pack, the creek is best fished in late June. Andrews is located 19 miles north of Winthrop on Chewuch River Road. The U.S. Forest Service maintains a campground next to the creek.

The 20-acre lake is located due south of Moccasin Lake (a private lake) on state Department of Fish and Wildlife land. The easiest way to reach the lake is follow the same directions to reach Aspen Lake off the Twisp River Road. Big Buck Lake (Chewuch) – The 15-acre lake received a plant of 1,000 cutthroat fry in September. The lake is located on U.S. Forest Service land eight miles north of Winthrop within the Chewuch River drainage. There is a gravel launch site and Forest Service campground. Rainbows in the past ranged from 11-12 inches. Cutthroat should also be available.. Big Hidden Lake — The lake, located in the Pasayten Wilderness, is for those looking for a little adventure. Located about 34 miles northwest of Winthrop, it annually produces decent-sized rainbows in the 10- to 14-inch class. The 71-acre lake lies at about

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Page 8 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash.

Area at about 3,400 feet elevation. Cougar gets little pressure because only snowmobilers have access during winter months. There is a campground nearby, but the boat ramp was heavily impacted by vehicles getting water for the fire, Fortier said. Travel 2.5 miles south of Winthrop on the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road, go east about a mile on Bear Creek Road to the Davis Lake turnoff, then north 1.5 miles and east for a mile on County Road No. 3514. Crater Lakes — Open year round, this high-mountain lake chain at 6,900 feet elevation includes one 15.8-acre lake managed for cutthroat. Located in the Sawtooth Ridge area on the north side of Whiskey Mountain, Crater Lakes offer cutthroat to walk-in anglers. Go northwest 18 miles on state Highway 153 from Pateros to the mouth of Gold Creek. A Forest Service road follows Gold Creek for eight miles. A good trail of five miles leads to the lakes. Dibble Lake — This 5-acre lake off Wandling Road near Twin Lakes Road was planted with 100 legal rainbows in April and 500 fingerling rainbows in April last year. The shallow lake, which is open year round, requires a quarter-mile walk from a parking area down a driveway to a public fishing area as agreed upon by the property owner. The lake is best fished from a float tube. “If fish survived the winter, expect to catch rainbows in the 11- to 13-inch range. “We are trying to bet more public signs up to make it easier to find parking,” Fortier said. Duffy Lake — The nine-acre lake, open year round, is situated at 6,500 feet elevation with cutthroat and is not ice-free until July. Take Forest Service Road No. 4420 (old No. 338) for 10 miles west of Twisp up Oval Creek to the Oval Creek Trail. Hike 4.5 miles south, then cross country eastward for a mile. Eightmile Creek — This creek, which contains a fair number of Eastern brook trout, is eight miles north of Winthrop and open the first Saturday in June (June 6 this year) to Oct. 31. There is a five-fish limit and no minimum size for brookies, which are best caught in August and September. Take the Chewuch River Road north for eight miles to the mouth of the creek. Gold Creek — The creek, located about four miles south of Carlton off Highway 173, is closed from its mouth to the confluence with North Fork Gold Creek. The creek is open from the north fork upstream, and sports rainbows and a few cutthroat. There is a two-fish limit with an eight-inch minimum. The season runs from the first Saturday in June (June 6) to Oct. 31. Foggy Dew Campground is at the junction of the north fork of the creek and Foggy Dew Creek. Lost River — The river, which drains into the Methow River about five miles northwest of Mazama, is closed from its mouth to Monument Creek. From Monument Creek to the outlet of Cougar Lake, there is a catch-and-keep season June 6 to Oct. 31. There is a two-fish daily limit and a 14-inch minimum size.

Anglers must use selective gear, including barbless hooks. Bait is not allowed. A well-marked trail starts just past the bridge. Louis Lake — This 27-acre lake, which receives a lot of pressure, contains mostly cutthroat, although a few rainbows roam the water. To reach the 5,300-foot elevation lake, travel 22 miles west of Twisp along the Twisp River to South Creek Campground, then hike two miles up South Creek to Louis Creek Trail and another three miles to the lake. Louis Lake is open year round, although ice usually is not off until June. Methow River — The river provides good opportunities during selected seasons. There has been a catch-and-release season for resident rainbow and cutthroat trout under selective gear rules the Saturday before Memorial Day through Sept. 30 from Gold Creek to Foghorn Dam, a mile upstream from Winthrop. A whitefish season runs on the stretch Dec. 1 to March 31, with no minimum size and a daily catch limit of 15 whitefish. Whitefish gear rules apply. There is a catch-and-release season with selective gear rules from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Sept. 15 from County Road 1535 (lower Burma Road) bridge to Gold Creek. There is a catch-and-release season with selective gear rules from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Aug. 15 from Foghorn Dam to the Weeman Bridge (eight miles upstream of Winthrop). There is a whitefish season. Check the new pamphlet for its season. In the past it ran Dec. 1 to March 31 from the Weeman Bridge to the falls above Brush Creek. Selective gear rules apply, with no internal combustion motors allowed on all tributaries not listed by the state under specific regulations for Okanogan County. A trout season has run the Saturday before Memorial Day to Oct. 31. There is an eight-inch minimum size and maximum 20in size, with a two fish daily limit. All steelhead must be released. Statewide minimum size and daily limit apply to all other game fish. The last few years an emergency rule allowed for a steelhead fishery. The steelhead seasons depend on run forecasts exceeding natural production and hatchery brood stock requirements. Dolly Varden/bull trout fishing is prohibited to help improve numbers of the native char. The river is closed on the stretch from Lower Burma Road bridge downstream to the mouth. Camping is available, but steep riverbanks are not very accessible to wheelchair users. The river starts high on the east Cascade crest at the head of the Methow Valley and runs to the Columbia River. There are several access areas along state Highway 153, which intersects with state Highway 20 south of Twisp, and parallels the river to its mouth. Five Forest Service campgrounds with toilets border the upper reaches of the Methow River above Mazama. Patterson Lake — This 143-acre lake, which is open year round, is a mixed-species fishery 3.5 miles west of Winthrop.

The kokanee plan was reduced this year to 10,000 fingerlings in March to get larger fish, Fortier said. The state also planed 11,400 triploid Eastern brook trout fry and 6,550 tiger trout fingerlings in April plus 2,000 catchable rainbows in October. Anglers can expect rainbows in the 10- to 11-inch range. Yellow perch in the 6- to 8-inch range have been reported. The lake also contains largemouth and smallmouth bass. Follow Patterson Lake Road from Twin Lakes. There is a state access site, which includes public toilets, with a gravel boat launch plus a resort with cabins and small boat rentals. Pearrygin Lake — The popular lake north of Winthrop suffered a large fish kill in November, possibly due to ash and later dirt entering the lake from Pearrygin Creek. The lake turned over in the fall before a large algae bloom, which died and took oxygen out of the lake, Fortier said. The lake received 2,500 legal rainbows in April. “We are going to put a large number of catchables (rainbows) into the lake,” Fortier said. Future plantings could include jumbo rainbows and triploids in May. Fish in the past ranged in the 10-13 inch range with carryovers to 14- to 15-inches. The 192-acre lake, which has a season of April 25 to Sept. 30, features a resort, a state park with hook-ups and a state boat launch. Toilets, campsites and a fishing pier are

handicap-accessible. Pearrygin is located 1.5 miles northeast of Winthrop. A road from the center of town leads to the lake. Tungsten Lake — This small lake, which contains cutthroat trout, is located about 55 miles north of Winthrop. Anglers, starting at the trailhead at the end of the Chewuch River Road, will hike several days to the lake, located near Aspen Mountain. Alpine lakes are open year round unless listed in special rules. Anglers have best success in mid-summer after the ice is off. Twisp River — A large tributary of the Methow River, the river remains closed for all fishing from War Creek to the south fork of the Twisp River near the Lake ChelanSawtooth Wilderness boundary. There is a catch-and-release season for rainbows and cutthroat from the Saturday before Memorial Day to Aug. 15 from the mouth to War Creek. Selective gear restrictions are in effect, including barbless hooks and no bait. Twisp River Road follows the river from Twisp for 25 miles upstream, with numerous campsites available. Anglers should check the state pamphlet for tributaries that are closed. Varden Lake — This small, high lake at 6,191 feet contains cutthroat trout. A 5.2 -mile trail with an elevation gain of 3,700 feet is located in the Silver Star Mountain area west of Mazama. From Winthrop take state Highway 20 west to Forest Road 5310-200 and park in the gravel pit. The unsigned trail to the lake is about 200 feet on the right of the Cedar


2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 9 The lakes should be ice-free for the opener, although they lie at about 2,700 feet elevation. The 5.7-acre Little Beaver Lake, located 1,100 feet east of Big Beaver Lake, was rehabilitated in 2012 to remove illegally planted yellow perch. Go east on state Highway 20 from Tonasket for about 18 miles, then north 12 miles past Bonaparte Lake. From Oroville, drive east on the county road through Chesaw and take Forest Road No. 9480 to reach Beaver Lakes and Beth Lake. Signs along the way also will direct travelers to Lost and Bonaparte lakes. The main Beaver Lake features U.S. Forest Service campground and a gravel boat launch. Another campground is at the smaller lake. Anglers can expect fish in the 10-13 inch range at the lakes. Beth Lake — This 13-acre lake, which is going to an April 25 to Oct. 31 season, is located a half-mile northwest of Big Beaver Lake and is open all year. The state planted 175 legal rainbows in April to go with 3,000 fingerlings planted last April. Take County Road No. 9480 from Little Beaver to Beth Lake. There are a boat launch and Forest Service campground. Bonaparte Creek — The creek, which flows from Bonaparte Lake to the Okanogan River through Tonasket, is closed from the mouth to the falls, about a mile upstream, to protect steelhead spawning and rearing. The closure is a cooperative effort with the Colville Confederated Tribes. Above the falls, the creek carries the typical stream season of the Saturday before Memorial Day to Oct. 31. Bonaparte Lake — This 159acre lake is considered the most diverse state-managed lake in the county with kokanee, rainbow, eastern brook and tiger trout. The lake received in April last year 27,000 triploid Eastern brook fingerlings, 5,000 tiger trout fry and 250 jumbo rainbows.

Creek Trail. The unmaintained trail climbs steeply uphill then follows the ridge top to tiny Mudhole Lake (no fish). From there to Varden Lake there is no trail, just a scramble route to the top of the ridge (great view of Silver Star Mountain) and a steep descent to the lake. Varden, which is off the beaten path and away from crowds, is best fished July through October. War Creek — The creek is open June 6 to Oct. 31. Like all creeks in the Methow Valley watershed, War Creek contains small rainbow (6-9 inches). It is illegal to retain bull trout (Dolly Varden). They must not be removed from the water prior to release. This creek is only for those hardy enough to fight through the brush to get to the fish. The creek joins the Twisp River at the U.S. Forest Service’s War Creek Campground about 15 miles west of Twisp. A road follows the creek for two miles and a trail runs parallel to the creek for another 10 miles to its headwaters at War Creek Pass. Okanogan Highlands Beaver Lakes — There is expected to be a season change on these small lakes, along with nearby Beth Lake. “They’ve been approved from year round to a seasonal fishery,” Okanogan County state fish biologist Ryan Fortier said. “The change came because the fish are really susceptible with being caught in the winter season,” the biologist said. More pressure during the winter means fewer fish in the summer. “We want a more predictable fishery for the public,” Fortier said. The season is now opening day, April 25, to Oct. 31. The planting schedule will also change from a split season plant to a spring plant. There were catchable rainbows (250 for the big lake and 150 for the small lake)

Olivia Harnack/Special to The Chronicle

A beautiful sunset after a successful day of fishing Crawfish Lake, which is managed by the tribe and state. planted in April to go with fingerlings planted in June last year.

The big lake has received tiger trout fingerlings in the past. Both lakes produce well early in

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Page 10 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. Other plants include 700 legal rainbows in April followed by 2,000 trout in October, 16,000 kokanee fingerlings in March and 250 jumbo trout in April. Anglers can expect kokanee in the 10- to 13-inch range, brookies in the 10- to 12-inch range and tiger trout up to 15 inches. The lake also holds smallmouth bass, rainbows and a rare Mackinaw (lake trout). The state encourages anglers to retain smallmouth bass in an effort to reduce their population in the lake and to balance the trout species. The lake is open all year with a five-trout limit, with only one trout being allowed over 20 inches. Bonaparte, which is a popular winter and summer fishing lake, is located about 20 miles east of Tonasket and north off state Highway 20. There is a resort with cabins, camping and boat launch plus a national forest campground with a boat ramp and fishing pier. The scenic lake also can be reached from Oroville via a scenic route through Chesaw. Follow signs to Bonaparte or Lost Lake. Crawfish — Crawfish, which is open April 25 to Oct. 31, is partially on state land and partially on Colville tribal land (southern half) about 12 miles east of Riverside. The state, which manages the water, planted 800 put, grow and take rainbows in 2013, 5,750 triploid Eastern brook trout fingerlings and 3,000 rainbow fry in April last year, 2,000 rainbow fry in June last year and 300 catchable rainbows in April. A state license is required when fishing from a boat. A tribal permit is required when fishing from shore on tribal land. Anglers can expect rainbows in the 10- to 12-inch range and brookies in the 10-inch range. There is a U.S. Forest Service campground with a boat launch at the lake. Internal combustion motors are prohibited. The 80-acre lake, at 4,475 feet

Robin Stice/Special to The Chronicle

Ice fishing is popular at Molson and Sidley lakes, especially this last January when fish were caught during the annual derby. No fish had been caught for several years when the derby was in February. elevation, can be reached by traveling northeast 18 miles up Tunk Valley out of Riverside or by going north from state Highway 155 on the Lyman Lake-Moses Mountain Road to Crawfish Lake Road. Fancher Dam Pond — This 20-acre reservoir that’s open year round offers rainbow trout about 11

miles northeast of Tonasket. The state planted 3,000 fingerling rainbows in June last year at the reservoir that can be reached off Havillah and Swanson Mill roads. The reservoir suffers from irrigation draw-down and sometimes winter kills. Expect rainbows in the 10- to

12-inch range, along with a few Eastern brook trout. The reservoir is best fished from a small boat or float tube. Long Lake - Like nearby Round and Ell lakes, this 17-acre lake is suffering from low water levels. The state planted 3,000 rainbow fingerlings in June last year. There were 500 put, grow and take rainbows planed in September of 2013. The lake also is scheduled for 50 jumbo rainbows in May and received 300 catchable rainbows in April. A boat ramp may be difficult to use due to the low water levels. Expect to carry a boat a short distance to the lake. Expect to catch yearling rainbows 10-11 inches. Long is east of Tonasket in the Aeneas Valley within a chain of lakes producing yearling rainbows to 11 inches with a few carryovers to 15 inches during a season of April 25 to Sept. 30. Take state Highway 20 east from Tonasket to Aeneas Valley Road, then east seven miles to the lakeshore. Less than one-quarter mile away is Round Lake. Access is available to both lakes, which lie on private property. Lost Lake — This quiet lake north of Bonaparte Lake, which is open year round, was planted 9,500 Eastern brook fingerlings in April last year. It’s scheduled to receive 50 jumbo rainbows in May. “Last year we planted some golden trout in the lake,” Fortier said. “Anglers should start seeing some of those in their catches later this summer.” Internal combustion motors are prohibited. The state minimum size and daily limit applies. It’s unlawful to use lead weights or lead jigs measuring one-and-a-half inches or less along the longest axis. The lead restriction is due to nesting loons at the lake. The 47-acre lake is best fished in the spring and fall. Warm, summer waters cause brookies to

become night feeders at the lake, located at an elevation of 3,817 feet. There is a Forest Service campground with graveled boat launch available at the north end. Take Highway 20 east out of Tonasket for 15 miles to Bonaparte Lake Road, then north 13 miles to the lake. Lost Creek — This is one of several creeks in the Highlands offering natural spawning eastern brook in the 6- to 8-inch range with a few 10-inchers. Other Highland creeks include Toroda, Bonaparte and Myers. Lost Creek is open June 1 to Oct. 31. Anglers should get permission from landowners before fishing the creek, which has some rainbows. Lost Creek is located about 24 miles southeast of Tonasket on Aeneas Valley Road. The creek is a tributary of the Sanpoil River’s west fork. A road one mile west of Aeneas leads south up the creek for about 10 miles. There is a Forest Service campground about two miles up the creek. Lyman Lake — This 4-acre lake, which is located near the Aeneas Valley, was planted with 500 triploid Eastern brook fingerlings in April last year. The lake, which can suffer from algae blooms, is located off Aeneas Valley Road on U.S. Forest Service property. There is a campsite and shore access for small boats or float tubes at the lake, elevation 2,880 feet. Molson Lake — The 20-acre lake, which is open year round, can suffer from winter kill but also can produce rainbows in the 10-12-inch range. Molson, which is located near Sidley Lake, was planted with 700 legal-size rainbows in April and 1,000 in October. The lake also received 1,500 triploid Eastern brook trout fry in May last year and 200 put, grow and take rainbows in September of 2013. Sidley is a popular winter fishery. An annual winter fishing derby is at Sidley and Molson in Owners Al and June Apple

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2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 11

Selective fisheries shine like gems Warm spring means fish grow bigger at special lakes By Al Camp The Chronicle

Aeneas Lake — This popular 61-acre lake about three miles southwest of Tonasket is a fly fishing-only lake open April 25 to Oct. 31. Aeneas received 1,000 brown trout and 1,000 tiger trout fingerlings in May last year, and 1,000 put, grow and take rainbows in September of 2013. Anglers can expect to hook rainbow in the 14- to 16-inch range and browns in the 12- to

15-inch range. There is no minimum size and a daily limit of one fish. Motors, including electric ones, are prohibited. Anglers must use barbless hooks. The water level at the lake remains relatively stable. Car-top boats can be launched on a gravel access and toilets are available at a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access. The lake is best fished with pontoon boat, small rowboat or float tube. There is very limited shore access. Rattlesnakes can be found along the shoreline, especially to the north. A plateau on the south end overlooking the lake is available for camping and offers panoramic views of the lake and surrounding hills, especially at sunset and sunrise. Best fishing months are May and June, along with September and October. From Tonasket, travel south a half-mile on county Highway 7 on the west side of the Okanogan River, then travel west 3.5 miles. Big Twin — The popular, selective gear, 77-acre lake south of Winthrop benefits from a winter aerator program. Rainbows can be landed in the 12- to 18inch range at the lake, which has a one-fish limit. The lake, which received rainbow fry and a few jumbo trout in the past, has a season of April 25 to Oct. 31.

January (fish were caught through the ice during the derby this year). Take the Tonasket Creek Road for eight miles east of Oroville, then north five miles through Molson to the lake. Myers Creek — Although access is limited because most of the creek travels through private land, local anglers enjoy fishing for rainbow and brooks up to 10 inches. The creek, best fished in the fall on the lower end, is open June 1 to Oct. 31. Take Havillah Road, then Nealey Road from Tonasket northeast for about 20 miles. The creek runs adjacent to the road for several miles. Round Lake — This lake of less than 20 acres, which sports low water levels, is located next to Long Lake in Aeneas Valley. The lake, which is open from the fourth Saturday in April (April 25) to Sept. 30, has been popular on opening day for rainbows in the 11- to 12-inch range. The lake received 3,000 rainbow fry in June last year, 220 rainbows in September, 2013, and 750 legal rainbows in April. Another 50 jumbo rainbows will be planted in May. The low water levels makes launching a boat nearly impossible. Boats can be carried a short distance to the lake. Round is reached by taking state Highway 20 east from Tonasket to Aeneas Valley Road, then east seven miles to the lakeshore. Sidley Lake — The 109-acre lake located near Molson at 3,675 feet is open year round

for rainbow trout. The state planted 3,000 rainbow fry in June last year. The lake was to receive 2,000 legal rainbows in April and 4,000 in October. There is a daily limit of two trout. For other game fish, follow the state minimum size and daily limits. Rainbows are in the 11- to 13-inch range. The lake includes an aerator operated jointly by a local property owner, the Oroville Sportsmen’s Club and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Sidley and nearby Molson are a popular winter fisheries, where an annual fishing derby is done through the ice in January. There is a state access site with a gravel boat launch. Sidley, which has good shore access from a road that parallels the lake, is located one mile south of the U.S.-Canadian border and 0.7 mile from Molson. From Oroville, take the Chesaw Road up Tonasket Creek for eight miles then north five miles on Molson Road through Molson and past Molson Lake. Summit Lake — This 11-acre lake, located 5.5 miles southeast of Oroville near Mount Hull, received 250 cutthroat fingerlings and 500 Eastern brook fry in April last year. The lake, located at 4,320 feet, provides good fishing through the summer. There are several campsites at the lake, best fished with a float tube or pontoon boat. Fish, which can include eastern brook, average 10-13 inches.

Okanogan County contains some of the state’s best selective gear waters including Chopaka, Blue, Big Twin and Aeneas lakes. Chopaka and Aeneas are the county’s only fly fishing-only lakes. Chopaka, which heats up later in the season due to its altitude, boots out rainbows up to 18 inches. Aeneas fishes well early and late, with many rainbow and brown trout that seem to get bigger each year. Low water levels continue to plague Ell Lake, which has not been planted for a few years. Best to fish nearby Round and Long lakes, which are also down but not selective fisheries. Okanogan County’s selective or fly fishing-only lakes include:

can use weighted lines to reach the fish. Gas-operated motors are prohibited, but electric motors are allowed. Selective gear rules apply. A state Department of Fish and Wildlife access area includes a gravel boat launch for smaller boats and a toilet. There is a resort (a good place to check on fishing conditions) with camping and a boat launch. Big Twin is two miles south of Winthrop off state Highway 20. There are marked turnoffs near Winthrop and Twin Lakes Road near Liberty Bell High School. Black Lake — This higher-elevation (4,000 feet), 66-acre lake is fished for rainbow trout. The lake, which is open year round, can be reached on a 5.5-mile trail in the Pasayten Wilderness that starts on Lake Creek, off the Chewuch River Road about 20 miles north of Winthrop. It is not a fly fishing-only lake or a trophyfishing lake, but rather a lake falling under the selective fishery rules where bait is illegal because of threatened bull trout. Bull trout (Dolly Varden) must be released if caught incidentally and cannot be removed from the water. Black usually is the first lake in the wilderness to become ice-free, thus it receives more pressure than many other lakes in the Pasayten.

Roger Harnack/The Chronicle

Big fish are always keepers in Okanogan County’s selective fisheries. Big Twin is best fished in May and June, along with September and October. During the hot summer months, anglers

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Page 12 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. The lake has not been planted with rainbow trout for many years. Two nearby lakes — Halfmoon (16 acres) and Kidney (13 acres) — contain cutthroat. Blue Lake (in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area) — The 186-acre lake that falls under selective gear rules and is about eight miles north of Conconully continues to be one of the best in the county for sizeable rainbows and browns. Blue was planted with 7,000 rainbow trout fry in June and 2,000 brown fingerlings in April last year. The lake also received 1,000 put, grow and take in September of 2013. Internal combustion motors are prohibited, although you can use electric motors. There’s a one-fish daily limit for trout. It’s unlawful to use lead weights or lead jigs measuring one and onehalf inches or less along the longest axis. To get a fly down, use a weighted fly line. Anglers fishing deep with flies should do well for two age classes of rainbows – yearlings in the 10to 12-inch range and carryovers up to 15 inches. Browns reach up to 18 inches. Blue is open April 25 to Oct. 31. The lake is four miles north of Fish Lake in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area. There is a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access site with camping, toilets and gravel boat launch at the handicap-accessible lake that lies at an elevation of 1,686 feet. To reach the lake, go north about 10 miles from Omak on U.S. Highway 97 then west on Pine Creek Road for about nine miles. Continue north past Fish Lake for four miles on Sinlahekin Road. Blue Lake (near Wannacut Lake) — Fishing for Lahontan cutthroats in the 12- to 18-inch range (up to three pounds) can be expected at this 111-acre lake a mile north of Wannacut Lake and three miles southwest of Oroville. Selective gear rules apply at Blue, where Lahontan cutthroat

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“ We plan additional fish into the lake (Davis) to make up for the loss in Campbell and Cougar lakes in the same area. Okanogan County fish biologist Ryan Fortier

thrive in alkaline water. The state planted 5,000 Lahontan cutthroat fingerlings in October last year. There is a one-fish daily limit at Blue, which has an April 25 to Oct. 31 season. Internal combustion motors are prohibited, but electric motors are allowed. A state Department of Fish and Wildlife access site with a campsite and graveled launch is available. Buzzard Lake — The 16-acre lake, five miles southwest of Okanogan on Buzzard Lake Road off state Highway 20, is a selective gear and one-fish limit lake open April 25 to Oct. 31 for rainbows that can reach 18 inches. The lake, which can winterkill, received 350 legal rainbows in April, 50 jumbos in May last year and 400 put, grow and take rainbows in September 2013. There is a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access site with an unimproved boat launch and camping area. Campbell Lake – This 11-acre lake, which contains rainbow trout, sports a split season three miles east of Winthrop in the Methow Wildlife Area. The lake is open for catch-andrelease using selective gear rules April 1 to Aug. 31. Internal combustion motors are prohibited. All game fish using state minimum size and daily limits can

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be caught Sept. 1 to March 31. The small lake suffered fish mortality due to ash from fires and dirt entering the lake from later rain, Okanogan County state fish biologist Ryan Fortier said. Best fishing usually is with a small boat or float tube. There were 1,000 rainbow fingerlings planed in April last year and 600 catchable fish this April. To reach the lake, take TwispWinthrop Eastside Road from either Winthrop or Twisp before going east on Bear Creek Road then onto Lester Road before taking a short road to the lake. Chopaka Lake — The popular 149-acre lake, which provides some of the best camping scenery in the county, is located at the 2,900-foot mark on Chopaka Mountain about six miles north of Loomis. The fly fishing-only lake has a one-fish limit and motors of all kind are prohibited. The season runs April 25 to Oct. 31. Chopaka received 4,000 rainbow fingerlings in June last year and 750 put, grow and take rainbows in September 2013. Rainbows, which munch on mayflies and are in the 12- to 18inch range, are best when it warms up in the spring and again in the fall. The first part of the road to the lake is steep and can be extremely rough in April. The road often is impassable to large trailers and

recreational vehicles. A state Department of Natural Resources campground at the lake offers 15 sites, and includes picnic tables, fire pits, a fishing pier and toilets. There also is a Bureau of Land Management campground. There are two, small graveled boat launches. Davis Lake — This popular Methow Valley lake near Winthrop is open to catch-and-release, selective gear rules April 1 through Aug. 31. The lake seems to escaped problems from ash and dirt entering the lake due to the Carlton Complex fire. “We plan additional fish into the lake to make up for the loss in Campbell and Cougar lakes in the same area,” Fortier said. Combustion engines are not allowed on the lake, electric motors only during this season. A catch-and-keep season is Sept. 1 through March 31 without selective gear rules. The popular, 30-acre lake is fished intensely opening day. It’s a favorite for many Labor Day weekend anglers. The lake received 3,000 rainbow fry in June, 500 catchable rainbows in October and another 1,500 catchable rainbows this April. Expect to catch trout in the 10to 14-inch range. There is a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access site with a graveled boat launch. Travel 2.5 miles south of Winthrop on the Twisp-Winthrop Eastside Road, go east about a mile on Bear Creek Road before heading south a mile to the lake. Ell Lake — The small lake east of Tonasket has not been planted for several years due to aeration problems and low-water levels. Selective gear rules apply. Internal combustion motors are prohibited. There is a one-fish limit. Drought conditions continue to reduce the size of the former 21acre lake, which suffers from summer kill.

Ell, which has not been planted since 2011, has a season of April 25 to Oct. 31. There is a one-fish daily limit. Selective fishery regulations apply. Gas-operated motors are prohibited. There is a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access area, but boats or tubes must be carried to the shoreline. There is a camping area and toilet available. Take state Highway 20 east from Tonasket for about 12 miles, and then go south on Aeneas Valley Road for about five miles. Grimes Lake — The private lake in northern Douglas County is leased by the state and open to the public. Selective gear rules apply. Internal combustion motors are prohibited while electric motors are allowed. The popular lake is open June 1 through Aug. 31 with a one-fish limit. The state Fish and Wildlife Department manages the 124-acre lake for Lahontan cutthroat up to 20 inches. The state planted 8,059 cutthroat fry in October. Lures work well the first couple weeks of the season at the lake, followed by fly fishing later. The lake is located north of Jameson Lake and about five miles southeast of Mansfield. Access is via a rough dirt road off of Wittig Road south from Mansfield. Parking is limited for the opener. Davis— The 24-acre lake south of Winthrop has a season of April 25 through Oct. 31 for rainbows. The selective gear lake with a one-fish limit has a tendency to winterkill, although fish making it through the winter can reach up to 16 inches. There is a state Fish and Wildlife Department access area, with toilet and a small, steep graveled boat launch. The lake is best fished with tubes or small boats carried to the lake. Little Twin lies two miles south of Winthrop with marked turnoffs from state Highway 20.


2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 13

Tribe offers a huge variety of fish Triploid to bass, the Colvilles have them all By Al Camp The Chronicle Some great fishing awaits anglers on Colville Indian Reservation waters, where the regular fishing season runs April 11 to Oct. 31. Buffalo, McGinnis and Duley lakes have winter fishing. Other winter fishing lakes include Summit and Twin lakes. The season was extended to Dec. 1, 2015, to March 15, 2016. Besides special winter fishing seasons, Nicholas and LaFleur lakes have special seasons of May 8 through Oct. 31. Buffalo, Borgeau, LaFleur and Twins lakes will receive four-pound triploids this spring that were raised at the tribe’s Bridgeport hatchery. “We want to get people exciting about potentially catching a big fish,” Tribal Resident Fish Manger Bret Nine said. Anglers should know the Sanpoil River is not open to nontribal members on the reservation. Besides great fishing prospects, the tribe also did not increase license fees this year. The reservation provides a diverse fishery in its many lakes and streams open to non-tribal members. Triploid rainbow and eastern brook trout, plus Lahontan cutthroat, were planted in a number of lakes and streams prior to the April opener, Nine said. For triploid rainbow, anglers should consider trips to Twin Lakes, Rufus Woods, Borgeau, LaFleur and Nicholas lakes. The waters are stocked from the tribe’s Resident Fish Hatchery near Bridgeport and from net pens located on Lake Rufus Woods. Also

released are larger numbers of smaller net pen fish supported by the tribe’s Fish and Wildlife Department. Self-sustaining kokanee are available on the reservation, with fish in the four- to five-pound range roaming Buffalo Lake, Nine said. The tribe also stocks triploid rainbow trout, and there are bass, in Buffalo, which is the third most popular tribal lake behind Rufus Woods and Twin Lakes. Omak Lake produces and is planted with large numbers of Lahontan cutthroat trout. Approximately 100,000 fish are stocked yearly. Anglers need to be aware of special restrictions and regulations on Omak Lake. Eastern brook trout are stocked in Twin, McGinnis, Summit and Simpson lakes. Anglers are encouraged to check final non-member tribal fishing regulations at http://www.colvilletribes.com/fis h_and_wildlife.php . Fishing permit fees for 26 lakes and creeks continue to cost $10 for one day, $20 for three days, $30 for seven days and $40 for a season. Licenses can be purchased at Big Wally’s, Coulee City; Buffalo Lake Resort, Fish and Wildlife Office in Omak, Nespelem, Inchelium and Bridgeport; Coulee Playland Resort in Electric City; Eich’s Mercantile in Republic; Inchelium Store, Log Cabin Resort and Rainbow Beach Resort in Inchelium; Jackson’s Service Station and Nespelem Trading Post, Nespelem; Keller Community Store; Lee Frank’s Mercantile in Tonasket; North Forty and Tribal Trails in Omak; and Walmarts in

Al Camp/The Chronicle

A happy angler holds up a Lahontan cutthroat, which planted in several tribal lakes including Omak Lake. Omak and Colville. Most tribal regulations are concurrent with state regulations on most boundary waters, Nine said. On Lake Roosevelt behind Grand Coulee Dam, there is a 16walleye limit with no size restrictions and 10-bass limit with no size restrictions. Tribal licenses are required on the shores of Rufus Woods, except at the designated fishing site next

to Pacific Aquaculture facility off Columbia River Road. The site is marked and is the only site where either a state fishing license or tribal license is accepted. If you are in a boat fishing Rufus Woods, either license is accepted, tribal officials said. All non-members who are fishing from the reservation shoreline on Crawfish Lake, Lake Pateros (Wells Dam pool), Washburn Island Pond, Lake

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Rufus Woods (except at the designated fishing area), Okanogan River and Lake Roosevelt (above Grand Coulee Dam) must have in their possession a valid Colville Indian Reservation fishing permit. Non-members fishing by boat in boundary waters adjacent to the reservation or from the shore of Lake Rufus Woods at a designated fishing area must possess either a valid tribal permit or a state license.


Page 14 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. Reservation waters open to non-members include: Apex — A small lake located four miles south of Inchelium, it drains into Borgeau Lake and remains listed in the tribal fishing pamphlet, but contains little water and mostly bullheads and mosquitoes. General limits apply. Big Goose Lake – Remains closed due to low water levels. Borgeau Lake — The 22-acre lake, located 4.5 miles south of Inchelium, offers catchable rainbows with nice carryovers. The lake was on a schedule to receive some four-plus-pound triploids this spring. A picnic table and outhouse are at the lake, which has an upgraded boat ramp. General limits apply. Buffalo Lake — This popular lake, which contains large, selfpropagating kokanee, big triploids and largemouth bass, could get even more popular with four-pluspound triploids being planted this spring. Buffalo’s seasons are April 11 to Oct. 31 and Dec. 1 to March 15, 2015. There is a free fishing weekend Feb. 6-7, 2016. The bass size limit is no more than two over 17 inches may be kept. The popular lake also contains large, self-propagating kokanee and largemouth bass, which average two pounds and reach up to five pounds. “The kokanee fishery at Buffalo is still really good,” Nine said. “There’s lots in there.” Non-members may fish for crayfish July 1 through Sept. 15. There are boat accesses at a public ramp and at Reynold’s Resort, which also has RV hookups on the northwest end of the lake. Columbia River – The tribe follows the state regulations, with a portion of the river from Grand Coulee Dam downstream to state Highway 155 being closed to all

fishing. Fishing for white sturgeon is prohibited on the river, above and below Grand Coulee Dam. Above the dam in Lake Roosevelt (excluding the inundated and freeflowing reaches of the Sanpoil River), anglers can reel in walleye (16, no size restriction), smallmouth bass (10, no size restriction), trout (5 and not more than two over 20 inches; bull trout cannot be retained), kokanee (6, no more than two unclipped may be retained) and Chinook (5, no minimum length). The lake is stocked with triploid rainbows from 28 net pen rearing projects including Keller Marina, Hunters, Kettle Falls, Hall Creek and Seven Bays. The Colville and Spokane tribes, along with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, manage the water backed up behind Grand Coulee Dam. Lake Roosevelt runs from Grand Coulee Dam, which lies at the junction of state highways 155 and 174, and extends east and then north past Kettle Falls. Below the dam anglers will find walleye (general limits), smallmouth bass (general limits), trout (2 fish, no length limit), kokanee (2 with no length limit) and Chinook (5, no minimum length). Regulations are complex, so anglers should consult their fishing pamphlets or the tribe’s online fishing pamphlet. Cook Lake — This tiny lake, which suffers from alkaline and low water conditions, is on Cameron Lake Road about a half-mile west of Little Goose Lake and east of Okanogan. Lahontans, which can survive alkaline water, were planted several years ago. Access to the lake is limited because of private property. General limits apply. Crawfish Lake — Crawfish lies partly on tribal land and partly on state land. Its season matches the state’s general fishing season

from the last Saturday in April to Oct. 31. (See listing with Highlands waters.) The tribe’s regulations match state regulations, including not allowing internal combustion engines. The state manages the lake for rainbow and Eastern brook trout. Duley Lake — This small lake east of Okanogan and eight miles south of Little Goose Lake on upper Cameron Lake Road has some Lahontan cutthroat surviving in its shallow depths. A winter fishing season was added to the lake. The seasons are April 11 to Oct. 31 and Dec. 1 to March 15, 2015. General limits apply. Elbow Lake — This 51-acre lake, which is no longer listed, is north of Inchelium between Onion Ridge and Dollar Mountain in the Inchelium drainage. Gold Creek – The lake is closed to non-tribal members from Gold Lake to the confluence with the west fork of the Sanpoil. LaFleur Lake — This seldomfished, 25-acre lake nine miles north of Inchelium sports a few small largemouth bass and rainbows (1,000 planted after spring thaw) and a few larger triploid trout (100 or so plants each year). The lake, open May 8 through Oct. 31, was to receive some fourplus pound triploids this spring. Bass are in the 2- to 3-pound range in the lake, best fished with smaller boats due to difficult launching conditions. A car-top boat works best due to difficult launching conditions. General limits apply. Lake Roosevelt — See entry for Columbia River for above Grand Coulee Dam. Be aware of the 16-walleye limit with no size restrictions and 10bass limit with no size restrictions. Lake Rufus Woods — Burbot (ling cod) is among the game fish, with limits consistent with state regulations – five fish with no minimum size and possession

being two daily catch limits. The lake stretches 51 miles downstream from Grand Coulee Dam to Chief Joseph Dam in Bridgeport. The lake contains triploid trout, which are planted by the tribe that can reach more than 20 pounds. A few triploids escape through Chief Joseph Dam and enter the Columbia River behind Wells Dam. There is one marked boat launch near the “upper” fish pen next to Pacific Aquaculture facility on Columbia River Road. The signed site is where either a state fishing license or tribal permit is accepted if fishing from shore at the launch. Other areas, if fished from shore on the reservation side, such as at Bridgeport State Park, require a reservation license. Either license works if fishing from a boat. Some smallmouth bass and walleye also live in the 7,800-acre reservoir. General limits apply for walleye and smallmouth bass. See Columbia River below Grand Coulee Dam for other fish limits. There are approved boat launch sites near Chief Joseph Dam and Seaton’s Grove. There’s unimproved access off Columbia River Road near the Timm Ranch and Coyote Creek. Little Goose Lake — This small lake east of Okanogan suffers from low water and may summer kill. “We used to stock it, but water levels are way down,” Nine said. “We may stock a few fish, but we are uncertain what we will stock in there right now based on the lake levels.” The lake received in the past a spring plant of redband trout and a few triploids. If the lake does not get an algae bloom, there could be some nice carryovers. Little Goose, which has a boat access, is located nine miles east of Okanogan on Cameron Lake Road.

General limits apply. Lost Creek — Redband trout, which are planted three times in the summer, and small brook trout, which are not stocked, live together in the creek located in the north central part of the reservation and starting near the headwaters of Crawfish Lake northeast of Riverside. Tribal members and those camping along its shores make up most of the anglers. The creek flows east, staying mostly in the reservation, and feeds into the west fork of the Sanpoil River north of the reservation’s boundary. Some of the creek flows through private land, so anglers need to get permission before fishing. The creek, which falls under general limits, can be reached via state Highway 155 through Lyman Lake. McGinnis Lake — A regular tribal fishing license gets you both a regular season (April 11 to Oct. 31) and a winter season (Dec. 1 to March 15, 2016) at this 115-acre lake located a mile south of Buffalo Lake and 9.5 miles southeast of Nespelem. “McGinnis has a really good brook fishery,” said Nine, who stocks the lake with half-pound brook trout. The best time to fish this brook trout-only lake, the only one like it on the reservation, is when it is cool — before July or in October. A gill net study showed the lake contained some good-size brookies. Flies, such as a royal coachman, work well in the lake that includes carryovers up to 20 inches and several pounds. Larger boats can be launched at the lake. Nicholas Lake —This 2-acre lake, where access is poor and winterkill is always an option, is open to non-members May 8 through Oct. 31. “We’re not stocking the lake any more,” Nine said of the lake 11.6 miles north of Inchelium.

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2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 15 “There are a few carryover rainbow trout,” nine said. In the past, a few redband trout were tossed into the tiny hole of a lake north of Inchelium. The lake, which features a shallow bench before entering a deeper part of the lake, is best fished with a float tube or canoe to get over vegetation. Don’t be surprised to see cattle wading the shallow area to stay cool. Okanogan River — You can go crazy for bass, walleye and channel catfish on this river due to unlimited catch limits. “Catch all you want,” Nine said. A large portion of the river, which is open all year, forms the western edge of the reservation. Tribal and state regulations close the river to the taking of trout, salmon and steelhead. (See listing with state waters.) The area from the mouth of the river to the bridge at Malott is open year-round for all game fish except trout, salmon and steelhead. The area upstream of the Malott bridge is open from the first Saturday in June (June 6 this year) through Aug. 31 for all game fish except trout, steelhead and salmon. A special steelhead, trout or salmon season may be opened by emergency authorization several agencies, including the Colville Fish and Wildlife and state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Omak Creek — This off-limit creek located east of Omak is closed to nonmember fishing due to a summer steelhead program. Omak Lake — This 3,000-acre lake seven miles southeast of Omak offers great fishing for Lahontan cutthroat. There are several rules for the open yearround lake including a daily catch limit of three cutthroat with only one being more than 18 inches. Special restrictions March 1 to May 31 call for catch-and-release only, the north embayment being closed to non-member boating and fishing, and all islands are closed to non-member access (for nesting birds). Fishing is only permitted from dawn to dark using only artificial lures and flies. Bait fishing is not allowed. The shoreline at the south end of the lake from Baines Beach south is closed to nonmembers all year. The south end of the lake is open for boating and fishing only to non-members who access the lake’s south end by boat from Mission (end of road past Paschal Sherman Indian School off state Highway 155), Cowpie or Nicholson (Beer Can off Columbia River Road) beach launch sites. Anglers are required to furnish creel census information, which is important to the tribe’s management efforts. Fish traps to collect eggs for the tribal hatchery have found fish more than three feet long. A state record 18-pound fish was caught in 1993. Rebecca Lake — This largemouth bass lake, with a season of April 11 through Oct. 31, is located about eight miles north of Nespelem and 1.5 miles southwest of Buffalo Lake. The lake, where bass average 4-6 pounds, has little management by the tribe and is best fished with a small boat. Floating weeds can block an unimproved

Charm Harmier/Special to The Chronicle

A boat is tied up on a sunny day on the Columbia River, which runs adjacent to the tribe. boat launch. Internal combustion engines are prohibited at the lake. A few legal-size trout have been planted in the lake. Sanpoil River — The river itself from Boundary C to the north reservation boundary, including the West Fork and Sanpoil River, is closed to fishing. All tributaries to the Sanpoil river are closed. The inundated reach of the river, which can be seen in a tribal fish regulation map, is open April 1 through Jan. 30. Anglers can fish for smallmouth bass (no daily catch, possession or length limits), walleye (no daily catch, possession or length limits), rainbow trout (daily limit of five fish, no more than two over 20 inches) and kokanee (daily catch limit of two fish). Fishing for white sturgeon is prohibited. Walleye and bass are affecting the fishery by scarfing up trout fry trying to escape to Lake Roosevelt. That leaves few to return when they are bigger and catchable. Anglers need to check demarcation lines and follow regulations carefully. Stranger Creek — This tiny creek is closed to all fishing downstream from the Inchelium-Gifford Road. The creek, which sometimes is planted, has a half-dozen access points. Anglers should get permission before fishing on private property bordering the creek that contains naturally spawning brook trout. Summit Lake — This small lake six miles east of Disautel and 11.5 miles northwest of Nespelem around 3,500 feet elevation is open year-round. Low water levels in the past have kept the lake from being planted. Access can be a problem due to one route being steep and another being muddy. There is a free fishing weekend Feb. 6-7, 2016. General limits apply. Twin Lakes — These popular lakes, which will receive some of the three-pound

triploids this spring, is open April 11 to Oct. 31 and Dec. 1 through March 15, 2016. There is free fishing Feb. 6-7, 2016. The lakes compete with Lake Rufus Woods as the most popular waters on the reservation. Twin Lakes continue to get better and better due to an oxygenation program. The north lake was the first to get the system, where anglers can find largemouth bass in the 10- to 16-inch range plus redband rainbow trout and some eastern brook. There is a 15-bass daily catch limit at the lakes, with only bass less than 12 inches or more than 17 inches allowed to be kept. No more than two bass more than 17 inches can be kept. The daily trout limit is five fish, no more than one of which is more than 20 inches. It is lawful to fish to the base of Stranger Creek outlet structure. Twin Lakes covers about 2,000 acres and is located eight miles west of Inchelium. There are two resorts and a public access at North Rocky Point. Washburn Island Pond — The tribe co-manages with the state this 13-acre pond that lies partly on the reservation and partly

on state land. The pond includes largemouth and smallmouth bass up to a couple pounds and sizeable catfish. A recent state rule change allows boat to have a combustion engine, but the use of the engine is prohibited. (You don’t have to take the motor off your boat to fish the lake.) The season runs April 1 to Sept. 30 at Washburn, located four miles east of Brewster off state Highway 17. Anglers must possess state and Colville tribal fishing licenses if fishing from shore. A state license is required for fishing from a boat. A boat launch area includes toilets and parking. General limits apply. Wells Reservoir — Often called Lake Pateros, the pool is managed by the state and is formed on the Columbia River behind Wells Dam and extends to Chief Joseph Dam in Bridgeport. The reservoir is open all year except for a few exceptions. Closures include the taking of salmon and steelhead by non-members unless opened by emergency authorization of Tribal Fish and Wildlife and state Fish and Wildlife. The portion of Wells Reservoir from the Okanogan County shore between the base of Chief Joseph Dam and state Highway 17 bridge is closed to all fishing. The portion of Wells Reservoir downstream of Chief Joseph Dam from the boundary marker to the Corps of Engineers safety zone marker is closed to fishing from a floating device. Fishing for white sturgeon is prohibited. Non-member may retain only adiposeclipped or floy-tagged trout. All trout with intact adipose fins must be released. Bass and walleye also live in the reservoir. Wilmont Creek — This tiny creek is closed to all non-members downstream of Silver Creek Road to protect spawning rainbows. General limits apply upstream of Silver Creek Road. The creek, 20 miles south of Inchelium, contains a few native redband rainbows and naturally spawning brook trout. The creek, which gets little pressure from area anglers, is best fished after runoff from snow. The bigger fish, which start at 13 inches, can be found in backed-up water behind beaver dams. The lower two-thirds of the creek borders private land, so anglers should seek landowner permission before fishing.

Scholz Sporting Goods & Clothing Fishing & Hunting Licenses Tackle, Poles, Bait, Camping Supplies, Ammo Lee Frank Mercantile 324 Whitcomb Ave. 509-486-2105 Tonasket


Page 16 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash.

Cool off at Ferry County fishing lakes When lowland lakes slow due to heat, these lakes get hot By Al Camp The Chronicle When fishing slows for the summer doldrums, the higher-elevation lakes of Ferry County should be a sure bet. Anglers can expect to find rainbow trout and Eastern brook at the high lakes, whitefish in rivers, plus largemouth bass and really big tiger muskies along with trout in Curlew Lake.

Most lakes should be ice-free for the state general opener, April 25. Although yellow perch are in Curlew Lake, discovered in 2012 during samplings, the lake is too big (and expensive) for rehabilitation. Plus, there are outlets that make it impossible to get all of the illegally planted fish. There are lead weight restrictions to protect nesting loons on Swan, Ferry and Pierre lakes. Lead cannot be used in flies at

Long Lake, a fly fishing-only lake. Several high-elevation lakes lie within the Colville National Forest. Major lakes within the county are: Curlew Lake — The 989-acre lake that’s open year-round continues to boot out rainbows along with largemouth bass and tiger muskies about four miles northeast of Republic along state Highway 21 North. Early season fishing is best for rainbows, many of which have been net pen-raised. Trout roam the lake in the 14- to 16-inch range, with 14-inchers common in April. Part of the success at the largest lake by far in the county lies with the Curlew Lake Association, which raises about 60,000 rainbows in net pens before releasing them in October, state District Fish Biologist Bill Baker said. The net pen trout, coupled with the state’s planting of fry in the fall (120,000 last November), mean the lake receives 180,000 to 200,000 trout each year. “The Curlew Lake Association has done a spectacular job,” Baker said. “It’s one reason the trout fishing has been so good the last few years.” The net pen trout enter the fishery by spring at around 10.5 to 11 inches. The state’s fry plants take an additional year to be viable. “It’s a big lake and it’s a really good

rainbow trout fishery,” Baker said. “Things have been working well.” Curlew muskies must be released unless they are 50 inches or longer. There is a onefish-per-day limit. There appear to be a lot of muskies in the 40-inch range, said Baker, who said it was difficult to estimate how many were in the keeper class of 50 inches or more. “There is a decent population of fish over 40 inches,” he said of one of the few lakes in the state with the fish. “If I was looking for large tiger muskies, that is the water I would go fish. We plant them every year with a relatively low-density stocking.” The plants have been just about every year since 1998, when muskies were introduced to control northern pikeminnows in the lake. Muskie fishing picks up when the water gets warmer, from June to September. Baker predicts someone will break the state muskie record at the lake. The current record is 32.25 pounds. Many anglers targeting muskies in Curlew are catch-and-release anglers not interested in harvesting the fish or seeking a state record, Baker said. Largemouth bass fishing also heats up later in the summer. Curlew Lake State Park offers camping, picnicking and boat access. The lake has three resorts.

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Alpine Veterinary Clinic Special to The Chronicle

An angler shows off a muskie caught at Curlew Lake.

741 Riverside Drive, Omak 509-826-5882


2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 17

Al Camp/The Chronicle

The Sanpoil River includes not only whitefish (special rules apply), but great fall color near Curlew. Non-tribal members can not fish the river on the Colville Indian Reservation. Davis Lake — This 10-acre, highelevation lake receives a few cutthroat fry in the fall (4,500 fingerlings last October) that enter the fishery later. The warm spring could mean Davis and nearby Long lakes will be ice-free for the season that runs April 25 through Oct. 31 Fingerlings take at least a year and normally two years to be big enough to catch. Although fishing may be good this year, Baker continues to monitor fish size, health. “The fish never really get large in that lake, maxing out at 12 to 13 inches,” Baker said. “Typically, they are 9 to 10 inches.” The lake is located five miles northwest of Boyds at an elevation of 4,550 feet in the Colville National Forest. Lake Ellen — Trout fishing should be good on the opener and for the first few weeks at this 78-acre lake located 14 miles north of Inchelium at 2,300 feet in the Colville National Forest. The lake received 2,000 catchable rainbows in April prior to the opener. Ellen

also received 2,000 put, grow and take trout in April 2013. The lake is reported to also include largemouth bass and green sunfish. Anglers can expect trout in the 11-inch range with holdovers up to 14 inches at the lake, which has an April 25 to Oct. 31 season. There is a developed Forest Service campground. Empire Lakes — Anglers can expect Eastern trout of eight inches on the opener, with the fish getting larger as the season progresses at these three small Colville National Forest lakes totaling six acres. They are located 11 miles north of Republic at an elevation of 3,600 feet. The lakes, which are fairly remote and don’t get a lot of pressure, were planted with 3,000 brook fingerlings in May and June last year. “It’s a float tube-type of a lake,” Baker said, noting there’s poor access. “But they are well worth the time to go up and fish.” The season runs from April 25 through

Oct. 31. Ferry Lake — The 19-acre lake received 2,500 catchable rainbows this month, which translates to good fishing for 11-inch

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rainbows on the opener. The state also planted 25,000 fingerling rainbows in May and June last year at Ferry, which can winter kill.

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Page 18 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. When the lake does not winterkill, carryovers are 14 inches. There is a lead restriction, with no lead allowed in jigs and weights of less than 1.5 inches prohibited to protect nesting loons. To reach the lake go south for nine miles from Republic and west on state Highway 21 before heading up Forest Service Road No. 53/Scatter Creek. The lake, located at 3,329 feet, includes a Forest Service campground. Fish Lake — This tiny, fouracre lake received 450 catchable rainbows in the 11- to 12-inch range prior to the 2015 opener. The lake, which is open April 25 through Oct. 31, is at 3,300 feet and located about a mile south of Ferry Lake on a county road. Kettle River — There are rainbow and brown trout along with whitefish, which are best fished right after ice goes off, in the river that has limited access. “If you can locate them, the whitefish can be good,” Baker said. The Kettle is closed to fishing for all species except whitefish from Nov. 1 through May 31 above the Lake Roosevelt boundary (Barstow bridge). The river, which is accessible at the Midway bridge, offers “pretty decent” fishing for rainbow and brown trout once the season opens for them, Baker said. Sturgeon fishing is closed at all times. Children age 15 and younger can fish with bait from the Curlew bridge downstream to the Canadian border (a great stretch for browns). Check the latest regulations pamphlet for gear restrictions on whitefish. Selective gear rules are in effect during the June 1 through Oct. 31 season. Long Lake – This 14-acre Colville National Forest lake, which contains cutthroat up to 17 inches in the fall, is located 11 miles southwest of Republic in the Scatter Creek drainage. Long, like Davis Lake, received

Special to The Chronicle

An anesthetized Curlew Lake tiger muskie is weighed and measured during a survey of the big fish, which must be 50 inches to be kept. a smaller-than-normal planting of cutthroat in 2012. Those fish are in the fishery now. Another 10,000 cutthroat fingerlings were planted in October. Those fish will take a couple years before they are legal. “Anglers may have to work a little harder there, but the ones they catch should be of good quality,” Baker said. Anglers are reminded that flies cannot contain lead to protect nesting loons. This fly fishing-only lake at 3,250 feet is open from April 25 through Oct. 31. The best time to fish is in the fall after the cutthroat have fattened. No motors of any type are allowed on the lake that includes a Forest Service campground and boat launch. Lake Roosevelt — See entries with Okanogan County and reservation waters. Renner Lake — Fishing

should be decent at this 9.6-acre Colville National Forest lake that contains Eastern brook trout (3,000 fingerlings planted in May/June last year) and brown trout (500 planted April/May, 2013). Renner, which is open April 25 through Oct. 31, is two miles west of Barstow and six miles south from Orient at 2,525 feet. Internal combustion engines are prohibited on the lake by county ordinance. Anglers can walk about a half-mile to the lake, which sports a small Forest Service campground and a primitive boat launch. Swan Lake — The 52-acre lake sports rainbow trout (26,000 fingerlings planted May/June last year). “I suspect people will catch a lot of rainbow trout, but not a lot will be very large,” Baker said. There is a lead restriction, with

no lead allowed in jigs and weights of less than 1.5 inches prohibited to protect nesting loons. Swan is located about 10 miles southwest of Republic in the Colville National Forest’s Scatter Creek drainage just a few miles east of the Okanogan County line. The lake, open from April 25 through Oct. 31, is at 3,641 feet elevation. An improved Forest Service campground is on the east shore. Trout Lake – This eight-acre lake does well in late spring for rainbow trout in the 10- to 11-inch range. Internal combustion engines are prohibited by county ordinance on the lake eight miles west of Kettle Falls. Trout is in the Colville National Forest at 3,200 feet elevation in the southeast end of Hoodoo Canyon. About 2,000 rainbow fingerlings were planted in

May/June last year at the lake, which is open April 25 through Oct. 31. There is a primitive boat launch at a Forest Service campground. Ward lakes — These two small Colville National Forest lakes of seven total acres are located about 9.5 miles north of Republic at 3,625 elevation in the Bacon Creek drainage. The lakes, which are open from April 25 through Oct. 31 and can sometimes suffer winterkill, include Eastern brook trout (1,000 fry planted May/June last year). Anglers can expect fish in the 8to 10-inch range and carryovers up to 12 inches. “These lakes should be pretty good for brook trout,” Baker said. “It’s similar to what you see at the Empire lakes.” Internal combustion engines are prohibited by county ordinance.

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2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 19

North-Central Washington fishing bonanzas Derbies happen all summer long here April 25-26 Trout Derby, Conconully. Information: www.conconully.com April 25-26 Banks Lake Triple Fish Challenge, Electric City. Information: www.grandcouleedam.org May 30 Kids Fishing Derby at Estuary, Pateros. Information: Pateros Chamber of Commerce on Facebook June 13 Kids Free Fishing events, Methow Valley. Information: winthropwashington.com July 18 Ray Stanley Memorial Bass Tournament, Pateros. Information: www.pateros.org July 31-Aug. 2 Brewster King Salmon Derby, Columbia River at Brewster. Information: www.brewstersalmonderby.com Sept. 25-27 Bass, Blues, Brews and BBQ, Black Beach Resort, Republic. Information: www.republicchamber.org Jan. 16, 2016 North Central Washington Ice Fishing Festival, Molson. Information: www.orovillewashington.com

Patti Turner/Special to The Chronicle

Fire impacted picturesque Smith Lake in the Chiliwist south of Malott. Anglers can expect access to be difficult this year.

Ernie Buchanan/Special to The Chronicle

Jerrod Gibbons/Special to The Chronicle

An angler holds up salmon caught in the Columbia River near Brewster.

Special to The Chronicle

At left, a net full of Lahontan cutthroat. Above, bass pulled from the tribe’s Rebecca Lake. At right, Lance Manning shows off a bass that won him money in the Ray Stanley tournament in Pateros.

Evan Eichler/Special to The Chronicle


Page 20 — 2015 Fishrapper, The Chronicle, Omak, Wash.

Charm Harmier/Special to The Chronicle

Salmon anglers flock to the Brewster area for the annual Brewster King Salmon Derby. This year’s derby is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 2 this summer.

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Fishrapper 2015  

Your 2015 guide to fishing in Okanogan and Ferry Counties.

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