Your guide to fishing in and around Okanogan County A supplement to The Omak-Okanogan Country Chronicle
Page 2 — 2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash.
Expect great fishing all over Okanogan County By Al Camp Chronicle staff Anglers can expect great fishing success in just about every corner of Okanogan County this season. The general statewide fishing season for lakes runs from April 24 to Oct. 31. Rivers, streams and beaver ponds, unless otherwise noted, open June 5 and remain open through Oct. 31. The Colville Confederated Tribe's general fishing season runs from April 17 to Oct. 31. Streams close Oct. 31 unless otherwise specified under special regulations. (See separate story for reservation prospects.) In the Methow Valley, both Big Twin and Little Twin appear to have escaped winterkill, which means nice-sized carryovers. Both will fish pretty well this year, state Department of Fish and Wildlife Regional Fish Biologist Bob Jateff said. Pearrygin Lake is expected to be a winner, and larger triploids were planted in Patterson Lake. Some 500 triploids will be planted before the opener. Flyfishing anglers should check out the selective fisheries at Blue (in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area) and Chopaka, with fish in the 12- to 18-inch range. Aeneas remains a question mark for the opener because it's not known how fish over-wintered, Jateff said. Lowland lakes expected to do well include Blue Lake in the Limebelt, with eastern brook up to 11 inches; Leader, with a catchable rainbow plant and possibly a few larger hatchery fish; and Fish Lake in the Sinlahekin, which traditionally boots out a lot of fish. At Fish Lake, the fish size was small for the opener in 2009 but the average size is expected to be larger this year. Anglers can take part in the Conconully Chamber of Commerce fishing derby the weekend of the general opener, April 24-25. Both the upper lake and lower reservoir are planted with good-sized rainbows. Both lakes have lowered levels, though snow melt may recharge them. There is a summer Chinook salmon season of July 16 to Aug. 31 between Wells Dam and state Highway 173 bridge at Brewster. A statewide free fishing weekend is June 12-13. No license is required of anyone — resident or non-resident — to fish in Washington on those days. Other restrictions and rules do apply; anglers should check tribal regulations.
Some anglers got a head start on the season with an April 1 opening for Davis and Campbell lakes in the Methow Valley. Also opening for catch-and-release fishing were Little Green and Green lakes near Okanogan and Rat Lake near Brewster. Jateff manages 67 lowland lakes in Okanogan County that represent about 18 percent of the state's lakes managed by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The county also contains 110 alpine lakes above 4,500 feet; cutthroat and rainbows often propagate naturally there. Some alpine lakes are planted with native cutthroats, Jateff said. Maps to the lakes are available at the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offices. County lakes contain rainbow (including triploids), tiger trout, brown trout, eastern brook trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, cutthroat, perch, bluegill, crappie, catfish and kokanee. Tiger trout are being planted in Bonaparte and Patterson lakes. Tiger trout are sterile and very aggressive feeders, and are a cross between brook and brown trout. Best success in the county comes by fishing lowland lakes early. As the weather warms, fishing improves at higher-elevation lakes such as Chopaka, Bonaparte, Wannacut, Sidley, Beth and Molson as well as lakes in the Methow Valley. Okanogan County's major lakes, both highland and lowland, plus creeks and rivers are split into geographical areas: Okanogan Valley Beaver Lake: The lake, which is open all year, contains cutthroat trout. To reach Beaver Lake, which is 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 lake is located in the Limebelt north of Omak and offers eastern brook and cutthroat up to 11 inches. Located 6.5 miles northwest of Riverside, the year-round lake is four miles off the Conconully Highway (watch for the public fishing sign) over a dirt road. Spring rains can make the road impassable. 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 all year, provides many opportunities except for steelhead (all trout). Steelhead are listed as
an endangered species and cannot be caught or possessed except under an emergency opener. During the last few years there have been emergency openers for the taking of steelhead. Anglers can fish for summer Chinook from July 16 and Aug. 31 between Wells Dam and the state Highway 173 bridge at Brewster. Other sections are open from July 1 through Oct. 15. Anglers should check state regulations for species available. Walleye fishing is predominant from January to June. Anglers should check the state fishing pamphlet for daily catch limits, which are different for Lake Roosevelt (above Grand Coulee Dam) than the rest of the river. The current walleye daily catch limit is five fish per day, with not more than one longer than 22 inches and a minimum size of 16 inches on Rufus Woods. Different walleye limits exist for Lake Roosevelt behind Grand Coulee Dam, with most of its length outside Okanogan County. The walleye daily catch limit is eight fish with no more than one longer than 22 inches. There is no minimum size. 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. It is lawful to fish to the base of the Washburn Island Pond outlet structure near Brewster. Conconully Lake: Both the upper and lower waters, open April 24 to Oct. 31, will be very popular again this year as they hold rainbows 11-13 inches and some bigger carryovers to 16 inches. Each lake will be planted by the state with larger 1- to 2-pound rainbows from Wells Hatchery. Conconully Chamber of Commerce also plans to plant some of the large fish for its annual fish derby. On the upper lake, there is a stateowned, graveled boat launch with toilets, and a wheelchair-accessible dock. A fee is required to use the launch for those using trailers. A resort lies near the launch. A state campground is in town on Conconully Reservoir. The 313-acre upper lake is located east
of Conconully and 15 miles northwest of Okanogan. Statewide bass limits started in 2008 include a daily limit of five largemouth, with no fish being kept 12-17 inches and only one over 17 inches. For smallmouth, which also reside in the lakes, the daily limit is 10 fish, with only one over 14 inches. Conconully Reservoir: Anglers can expect rainbow trout averaging 9-11 inches with a few carryovers up to 16 inches. The Conconully Chamber of Commerce will plant larger rainbow trout averaging 1-2 pounds this spring to provide additional angling opportunity. The 450-acre lake, located south of Conconully, is open April 24 to Oct. 31. The reservoir features several resorts and an excellent state park. Conner Lake: Located near Forde Lake, this 58-acre lake is in the Sinlahekin. After a 2008 drawdown, the lake was replanted with eastern brook that should be in the 9- to 10inch range this season. Some eastern brook propagate naturally in Sinlahekin Creek. There also could be some tiger trout. Travel south from Loomis five miles on Sinlahekin Road. There is no boat ramp because of weeds and brush, but access is possible for those with canoes, rafts and float tubes. The lake is open April 24 to Oct. 31. Fish Lake: This 102-acre lake is located four miles northeast of Conconully. Yearlings will average 9-10 inches with carryovers up to 13-14 inches. The season runs April 24 to Oct. 31. Anglers can reach the lake by traveling either 4.5 miles northeast on a dirt road from Conconully past the upper lake and Sugarloaf Lake or going north on Highway 97 for 5.5 miles from Riverside, then west on Pine Creek Road for about nine miles. Two public access areas with launches and toilets are available. Forde Lake: The 24-acre lake in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area has naturally reproducing eastern brook trout that range from 10-12 inches. Nearby Reflection Lake may hold tiger trout. Forde, built as an impoundment pond in 1949, is open April 24 to Oct. 31. There is a small, public boat-launching area next to the road. The lake is located 6.1 miles south of Loomis on Sinlahekin Road. Green Lake: Both Green (45 acres) and
lower Green (9 acres) are located about five miles northwest of Okanogan and Omak. Both are open to catch-and-release, selective gear rules fishing only from April 1 through Nov. 30. Electric motors can be used on Green Lake (the larger) 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. Fishing is expected to be good for rainbows in the 10- to 11-inch range. Despite being fished in the winter, the lake holds a few carryovers up to 15 inches. Also in the lower lake are eastern brook in the 9- to 10-inch range. Green Lake has a boat launch and toilets. Little Green Lake should provide good fishing for 10- to 11-inch brook 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 disabled accessible, 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. There are several areas that can be used to launch boats at either lake. Jasmine Creek: This is a juvenile-only water located in the south end of Omak. The creek runs from the Omak Fish Hatchery into
See Okanogan Page 3
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Okanogan from 2 the Okanogan River. Anglers must be 14 and under to fish the creek, which holds a few rainbows. The creek is open year round. Leader Lake: Located seven miles west of Okanogan off Highway 20, this popular, 159-acre lake should provide good fishing early in the season (April 24 to Sept. 30) for rainbow trout 9-11 inches, with some carryovers in the 15-inch range. Due to spiny rays in the lake, Jateff said he will plant Leader with several hundred larger rainbows in hopes they will escape being eaten by crappie, bluegills and largemouth bass. He said he plans to continue managing the lake as a mixed-species fishery, as it's become a summer favorite for families with kids. The lake offers several areas where boats can be carried in, as well as a concrete boat launch site. Toilets and campsites are available. Okanogan River: Because steelhead are listed under the Endangered Species Act, fisheries have been modified substantially for all fish species on the river, which flows south from Lake Osoyoos near Oroville to the Columbia River near Brewster. The river can be good for steelhead when there is a season. Emergency openings the past few years occurred in October and ended in March. A steelhead fishery is dependent upon run size that exceeds natural-origin escapement requirements.
The river, which is considered a warmwater fishery, is open year round from the mouth to the Malott bridge for all species except steelhead and trout. From the bridge north the season will be June 1 to Aug. 31. Bait will be allowed. Smallmouth bass are the best bet with fish averaging 10-12 inches, though some can exceed three pounds. There is a 10-fish bag limit for smallmouth bass, with only one being over 14 inches. Largemouth bass are present but in limited numbers and mostly restricted to the lower reaches of the river. Walleye action has grown over the past few years, with most fish located near the mouth of the river at the Columbia River. There is an excellent boat launch in Brewster on the Columbia, plus 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 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 14-inch range. The lake also offers good smallmouth bass fishing spring through fall, plus yellow perch that 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 city park with boat launch at Boundary Point about four miles north of town. Palmer Lake: Some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the state exists at this 2,063-acre lake located about four miles north of Loomis and open all year. May and June are the best months. Bag limit for smallmouth is 10 fish, only one of which can be over 14 inches. The lake also produces naturally spawning rainbow, kokanee (11-13 inches), largemouth bass, yellow perch (great to fish in winter), crappie and a few burbot (freshwater ling, primarily a winter fishery). Burbot anglers must comply with the statewide rule of one line with up to three hooks (unless other, more restrictive rules are in effect for a particular water). Pikeminnow, a state game fish, also live in Palmer. The lake sports one of the most diverse fishing experiences in a statemanaged lake. Campgrounds and toilets are available at each end of the lake, with a U.S. Bureau of Land Management concrete boat launch at the south end access area and graveled state Department of Natural Resources launch site at the north area. There is one resort on the lake with cabins and small boat rentals available. Rat Lake: This 63-acre lake located five miles north of Brewster is open under catchand-release, selective gear rules fishing only from April 1 through Nov. 30. The lake switches to a "catch-and-keep" special winter season from Dec. 1 through March 31 without selective gear rules. Electric motors can be used during the
selective gear rules season. Fishing should be good for rainbow and brown trout 10-12 inches, with a few larger carryovers to 15 inches. The state has been planting brown trout yearly and will continue until the population gets too great, Jateff said. 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 boat launch, but access may be a problem in winter since the road is not plowed. Reflection Pond: The 5-acre water, sometimes also referred to as Reflection Lake, is located on the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area six miles south of Loomis near Forde Lake. Open April 24 through Oct. 31, the lake includes triploid brook trout and tiger trout. There should be some 9- to 10-inch brooks in the lake. Additional plants of triploid brooks are planned in the coming years. This is a very small, scenic lake that lends itself well to float tubes and very small boats, said Jateff. Rock Lake: Actually two lakes, the upper covers 3.5 acres and the lower 4.5 acres. Fishing for eastern brook trout is erratic because of winter kill in the upper lake. The lower lake is more consistent. The lakes receives a plant of cutthroat, but eastern brooks also live in the lakes. The lakes are located 11 miles northwest of Okanogan. Drive west on state Highway 20, then north on Rock Lake Road. There is a campground facility but no boat launch. It's a very steep walk down to the
lake, which is open April 24 to Oct. 31. Rufus Woods Lake: The 51-mile-long lake, which is actually a river reservoir, lies behind Chief Joseph Dam on the Columbia River just upstream from Bridgeport. The water, which is gaining a statewide reputation for booting out large triploid rainbows, is open year round and forms the border between Douglas County and Colville Indian Reservation in Okanogan County There is a two-trout fish limit, but this year kokanee count as part of the trout limit. Other species include walleye (best caught near Elmer City), kokanee, yellow perch and a few smallmouth bass. It's illegal to fish for sturgeon. No chumming is allowed. 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 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
See Okanogan Page 4
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Page 4 — 2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash.
Okanogan from 3 because there is no fish ladder at Chief Joseph. Anglers — and trout — benefit from a net pen operation downriver from the mouth of Nespelem River. The state record continues to increase with fish from the reservoir. Anglers often catch fish into the 20-pound range. 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 the dam. Salmon Creek: Both the north fork and west fork, which flow into Conconully Reservoir, have a season that runs from the first Saturday in June (June 5) and through Oct. 31. Selective gear rules apply, and fish must be a minimum size of eight inches. Bait is not allowed. There is a two-fish limit. Fishing is closed from the reservoir to the mouth of the Okanogan River to protect spawning steelhead. Schalow Pond: The pond, best fished with tubes or rafts, has not been planted in recent years due to an infestation of smallmouth bass.
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 10-acre pond is 4.5 miles northeast of Conconully in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area Silvernail Lake: The tiny five-acre 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. It is planted yearly with catchable rainbows of 8-10 inches, plus a few larger fish. There is a state Department of Fish and Wildlife access site near the lake. Similkameen River: Located west of Oroville, this river that extends into Canada offers fair fishing for winter whitefish in a season of Dec. 1 to March 31 from Enloe Dam to the mouth. 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. Steelhead fishing seasons are open through emergency regulation only as the fish are protected under the Endangered Species Act. A summer Chinook season may be adopted this year. Anglers should check the state Department of Fish and Wildlife's Web site for opening dates and restrictions. When steelhead are allowed to be taken, the river is open between Enloe Dam and the Okanogan River. 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.
Sinlahekin Creek: Anglers with gumption and guts — rattlesnakes like to slither among the trees and willows — will find a few rainbow trout in this north-running stream. Selective gear rules are in effect during a short season that runs from June 5 through Aug. 31 from Palmer Lake to Cecile Creek bridge. There is a special winter whitefish-only fishery from Dec. 1 through March 31. Check the latest regulations pamphlet for whitefish gear rules. The creek runs northward parallel to Sinlahekin Road from Blue Lake in the Sinlahekin Valley to Palmer Lake. Spectacle Lake: Formed as a reservoir for area orchards, Spectacle is open April 1 through Sept. 30, for yearling rainbow in the 10-12 inch range plus carryovers to 15 inches. There are some brown trout in the lake. Nearly 700 triploid rainbows will be planted this spring in the 1- to 2-pound range. There are three resorts plus a state concrete boat ramp and toilets at the lake, located nine miles southwest of Tonasket. There is a five-fish daily limit. The lake is located 2.5 miles east of Loomis and nine miles northwest of Tonasket. Starzman Lakes: These three small lakes near Brewster are open year round. Two were rehabilitated in 2008. The upper lake was replanted with brook trout and the middle with rainbows and a few cutthroat. The lower lake was not rehabilitated. It contains largemouth bass and bluegills. Upper Starzman Lake covers eight acres while the lower lake, located 100 yards south,
See Okanogan Page 5
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sulfate) that makes fish taste especially good. The lake can be reached by two routes. 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. A resort and public access with toilets and launch are available. Washburn Island Pond: This 130-acre diked area of the Columbia River that lies north of Brewster sports lots of weed beds and cover for mostly bluegill and largemouth bass. Anglers can also find a few crappie and channel catfish at the area on the Colville Indian Reservation that sports a season of April 1 to Sept. 30. 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. Tribal and state bass slot limits are the same, with a daily catch limit of five fish less than 12 inches or over 17 inches. No more than one fish can be over 17 inches. Largemouth bass run up to a couple pounds at the pond, located four miles east of Brewster and 22 miles south of Okanogan off state Highway 17. Take 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.
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covers 5.5 acres. A third lake of 4.3 acres is located 2,300 feet south of the main lakes. Historically, the lakes have provided a good trout fishing area despite problems with winterkill. 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. Anglers may want to walk down to the lakes instead of attempting the treacherous, unmaintained road. Small boats or canoes can be launched. Sugarloaf Lake: Water levels remain low at this tiny lake north of Conconully Lake that holds a few small rainbows. The lake features a Forest Service campground that is a favorite area for deer hunters in the fall. Tiffany Lake: This walk-in lake holds cutthroat trout and eastern brook. There is a 10-fish bag limit for eastern brook in the lake or 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, is 0.7 mile south of Big Tiffany. Wannacut Lake: This 411-acre lake north of Whitestone Lake often lags behind warmer, lower-elevation lakes by a few weeks as far as fishing success goes. Once the weather warms up in May and June, anglers can expect rainbows of 11-12 inches with a few carryovers up to 15 inches. The lake, which has an April 24 to Oct. 31 season, contains saline water (magnesium
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2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 5
Okanogan from 4 The use of internal combustion engines is prohibited. Electric motors are OK. The boat launch has been upgraded, with toilets and parking available. Washburn Lake: Expect a short hike to 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 24 to Oct. 31. There is a two-fish limit on triploid eastern brook trout 11-13 inches that reach a nice size by the fall. There is a BLM campground, with boat access limited to craft that can be carried a short distance to the lake, located north then west from Loomis on an unimproved road near the west end of Spectacle Lake. 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. Largemouth bass bite well all summer and into the fall. There is a 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 over 17 inches. Fishing pressure has declined because perch and sunfish reduced the crappie population. Bass seem to be thriving, with some reaching the three- to five-pound range. Channel catfish also reside in the lake. The best fishing is in the spring before bass start diving for cover. Drive north from Tonasket on the west side of the Okanogan River for 4.5 miles, then
west for three miles to the lake. A well-developed public access, which is handicapped accessible with launch and toilets, is available. Camping is allowed. Okanogan Highlands Beaver Lakes: These small lakes that are open year round northeast of Tonasket are managed exclusively for rainbow trout, though brook trout appear to be reproducing naturally in a nearby creek. A few catchable rainbows have been planted in the lakes to boost the fishery, Jateff said. The lakes will produce better catches early in the season. Fishing, especially with a fly, picks up again in September and October. 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 Beaver Lake, holds eastern brook. Catch rates are slow, but there are some very nice fish available. 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 two boat ramps and a U.S. Forest Service campground. Another campground is at the smaller lake. Beth Lake: Located about one-half mile northwest of Beaver Lake, this 13-acre lake gets better as the season goes on for
rainbows. Catchable rainbows are planted in the lake, which is open all year. Annual planting is needed because of winterkill, though some years there are a few carryovers. 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 June 5 to Oct. 31. Bonaparte Lake: Bonaparte is considered among the most diverse statemanaged lakes in the county, with eastern brook, tiger and rainbow trout, kokanee, Mackinaw (lake trout) and smallmouth bass. The 159-acre lake, which is open all year, should be ice-free sometime in late April. Only one trout over 20 inches is allowed in the five-trout daily limit. Best fished in early May, the lake holds brook trout in the 11- to 13-inch range. Reports of large Mackinaw are rare, Jateff said. Fishing should be good for kokanee from 8-12 inches. A smallmouth bass population appears to be increasing, Jateff said. Bonaparte is located about 20 miles east of Tonasket and north off Highway 20. A resort and a national forest campground with a boat ramp and fishing pier are available.
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Bonaparte also may be reached from Oroville via a scenic route through Chesaw. Follow signs to Bonaparte or Lost Lake. A resort is available with boat launching facilities, plus a fishing pier at the U.S. Forest Service campground. Crawfish: Crawfish, which is open April 24 to Oct. 31, is managed as a rainbow trout lake. Fishing should be fair for rainbows 9-11 inches. The south half of Crawfish lies within the Colville Indian Reservation. A Forest Service campground and graveled boat launch are available on the north end. Internal combustion motors are prohibited. Those fishing from shore on the reservation portion of the lake must possess a reservation license. A state license will suffice if fishing from a boat in reservation waters. The 80-acre lake, at 4,475 feet 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. Long Lake: The 17-acre lake east of Tonasket in the Aeneas Valley chain of lakes should produce yearling rainbows to 11 inches with a few carryovers to 15 inches during a season of April 24 to Sept. 30. Take state Highway 20 east from Tonasket to Aeneas Valley Road, then east seven miles to the lakeshore. Less than onequarter mile away is Round Lake. Access is available to both lakes, which lie on private property.
Low water conditions make it necessary for anglers to carry boats or slide them down a bank into the lake, Jateff said. Lost Lake: This quiet lake north of Bonaparte Lake is open all year and managed for eastern brook. There should be a fair opportunity to catch brookies up to 12 inches. There are no size limits, but internal combustion motors are prohibited. An added incentive is viewing 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 the Bonaparte Lake Road, then north 13 miles to the lake. Lost Creek: This is one of several creeks in the Highlands offering natural eastern brook in the six- to eight-inch range with a few 10-inchers. Other creeks include Toroda, Bonaparte and Myers. Lost Creek is open June 5 to Oct. 31. Most of the land surrounding the creeks is private. Anglers should get permission from landowners before fishing. Lost Creek is located about 24 miles southeast of Tonasket on Aeneas Valley Road. The creek is a tributary of the San Poil River's west fork. A road one mile west of Aeneas leads south up the creek for about 10 miles. There
See Highlands Page 6
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Page 6 — 2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash.
Highlands from 5
11- to 12-inch range. The lake, which is open April 24 to Sept. 30, can be reached by taking state Highway 20 east from Tonasket to Aeneas Valley Road, then east seven miles to the lakeshore. Both Round and Long, located a quartermile away, are located on private property. Anglers will have to carry boats or slide them down the banks at both Long and Round Lakes due to low water conditions, Jateff said. Sidley Lake: Management of this 109acre lake, located near Molson at 3,675 feet, includes planting different sized rainbows to help with survival. Catchable rainbows, 8 to 11 inches long, are planted in the spring and fall, Jateff said. Anglers often start in April to fish the lake, which is open all year. Sidley should provide good quality rainbows in the 9- to 10-inch range. There is a two-fish limit. The lake benefits from an aerator operated jointly by a local property owner, the Oroville Sportsmen's Club and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The lake, 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. Take Chesaw Road up Tonasket Creek for eight miles east of Oroville, then north five miles on Molson Road through Molson and past Molson Lake. Summit Lake: This small lake, located 5.5 miles southeast of Oroville near Mount Hull, was most recently stocked with native cutthroat. Past plants at the 11-acre lake have
is a Forest Service campground about two miles up the creek. Lyman Lake: The rich lake, which is best fished in the fall, has been planted the last few years with fingerling (3- to 4-inch) eastern brook or rainbow trout. Open year around, the 3.5-acre lake prone to winterkill is located 2.5 miles southwest of Aeneas on Forest Service Road No. 357. There is a Forest Service campground on the lake, elevation 2,880 feet. Molson Lake: The 20-acre lake has had some winterkill problems this year. Molson, which is planted each spring with catchable rainbows in the 8-to-11-inch range, is open year around and lies next to Sidley Lake. 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 5 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 small lake of less than 20 acres, located next to Long Lake in Aeneas Valley, normally attracts a lot of anglers on opening day for rainbows in the
included eastern brook and tiger trout. The lake, which is open year round, has not been great fishing the last few years, perhaps because of winterkill. Best fished in the fall, Summit lies at an elevation of 4,320 feet. Methow Valley Alta Lake: Fishing should be good for 10to 12-inch yearling rainbows, with carryovers up to 15 inches. The lake also offers up to 600 larger, 1- to 2-pound triploid rainbows planted in April. Anglers can find a concrete public boat launch, a state park with full facilities, a private resort 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 24 to Sept. 30. The 184-acre lake is reached by driving 1.5 miles west of Pateros on state Highway 153, then south for about a mile. Those staying at the resort can have larger boats launched. Andrews Creek: Open from the first Saturday in June (June 5) and through Oct. 31, Andrews offers native rainbows. Dolly Varden (bull trout) no longer may be caught legally in the creek. 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. Aspen Lake: This semi-remote lake, 0.7
mile southwest of Moccasin Lake, received triploid eastern brook and tiger trout plants the past few years. The lake, which tends to suffer winter kill, has a season of April 24 to Oct. 31. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife owns the land on which the lake is located. Aspen can be reached by taking the Twisp River and Big Buck Lake roads. The last half-mile is on foot. Big Buck Lake: The seldom-fished lake, which has been planted with catchable rainbows, has a year-round season. "It's worth it if you are there," Jateff said of the fishing. Largemouth bass also may be found in the small lake, which can suffer winter kill. Big Buck 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 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 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 and onto the Mazama Road. A one- to two-day hike to the lake starts at the head of Lost River at the Billy Goat Corral. Cougar Lake: The season has been changed to April 1 through Oct. 31 to reflect
regulations similar to those at Davis and Campbell lakes. The lake is catch-and-release only for a selective season, then on Sept. 1 the rules go back to a standard five-fish catch-and-keep season to March 31. The 9-acre lake is located south of Winthrop in the Methow Wildlife Area at about 3,400 feet elevation. Cougar gets little pressure because only snowmobilers have access during winter months. Planted with rainbows in the spring, the lake doesn't get near the attention of nearby Davis Lake. By fall the fish should be legal size. There is a campground nearby with a graveled boat launch for smaller watercraft. 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. Davis Lake: This popular Methow Valley lake near Winthrop is open to catch-andrelease, selective gear anglers April 1
See Methow Page 7
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Methow from 6 through Aug. 31. Electric motors can be used during the selective gear rules season. Davis then switches to a "catch-andkeep" special winter season from 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. Fishing should be good for 11- to 13-inch rainbow trout, with carryovers to 15 inches. Larger rainbows up to 2 pounds will be planted this spring to provide additional angler opportunity. 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. Duffy Lake: The open year-round, nineacre lake, situated at 6,500 feet elevation, is not ice-free until June. It contains cutthroat. 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: Native rainbows and eastern brook live in this creek, eight miles north of Winthrop, that is open June 5 to Oct. 31. "More people should fish it," Jateff said. It contains brook trout, with a five-fish limit. August and September should see pretty good action. Take the Chewuch River Road north for
The state general fishing season is April 24 to Oct. 31 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 June 5 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 5 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 late May. Methow River: The river provides good opportunities during selected seasons. There is a catch-and-release season for resident rainbow and cutthroat trout under selective gear rules June 1 through Sept. 30. The winter whitefish season is Dec. 1 through March 31. A steelhead fishery opens by emergency rule only. That has occurred the last few years from October through March. 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 closes Sept. 15 on the stretch from Lower Burma Road bridge to McFarland Creek. Camping is available, but steep river banks are not very accessible to wheelchair users. Anglers are advised to check current sport fishing rules since the Methow has various open and closed areas along the length of the river. Some areas close earlier than Sept. 30. 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 with rainbows (11-12 inches), perch (7-8 inches) and some larger fish to 10 inches. Additional fish plants of up to 600 triploid rainbows in the 1- to 2-pound range will be made this spring. The lake is located 3.5 miles west of Winthrop. Follow Patterson Lake Road from Twin Lakes. A resort and public access with toilets and a gravel launch are available. Pearrygin Lake: This very popular lake north of Winthrop should be good for rainbows up to 10 inches and carryovers in the 14- to 15-inch range. Plants of up to 600 triploid rainbows will be made this spring. The 192-acre lake has a season of April 24 to Sept. 30. The lake features a resort, a state park with hook-ups and a fish and wildlife department boat launch. Toilets, campsites and a fishing pier are handicapped 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. Cutthroats propagate naturally in the lake, meaning fish range in size from one to 14 inches. Heavy pressure from hike-in anglers minimizes the amount of larger fish. 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 Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness boundary. There is a catch-and-release season for rainbows and cutthroat of June 5 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 areas where the river is closed. War Creek: The creek is open June 5 to Oct. 31. Like all creeks in the Methow Valley watershed, War Creek contains small rainbow (six to nine 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. —Dee Camp and Brenda Starkey
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Page 8 — 2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash.
Tribe continues planting native redband trout Low water closes Big Goose Lake By Al Camp Chronicle staff The only major fishing regulation change on the Colville Indian Reservation calls for the closure of Big Goose Lake, east of Okanogan, due to low water levels. "Water levels have been going down each year," Senior Resident Fish Biologist Ed Shallenberger said. "We won't open until we have a wet winter and water levels come up. Summit, another lake suffering from low water, probably will not be planted this year, Shallenberger said. "Hopefully there are some holdovers there," he said, noting the bay near the Boy Scout camp is dry. "The lake has gone down a lot. We need some water on this reservation," he said. The tribe continues working to get its native redband trout planted in most tribal waters, though this year about 1,300 purchased triploid trout will be split into various lakes. The fish, which average more than 6 pounds each, were purchased for $15,000 from Pacific Aquaculture, which operates net pens on Lake Rufus Woods. "We are really making an effort wherever possible to going back to the original redbands," Shallenberger said. "Native redbands are all we have at the (Bridgeport) hatchery." Most tribal lakes will be moved away from non-native species, mostly toward 100 percent redbands, which seem to do better in low-oxygen, high-temperature water found on the reservation, Shallenberger said. Sterile, football-shaped triploids will be planted every few weeks in Lake Rufus Woods until the weather gets too warm, tribal resident fish division head Sherri Sears said. Triploids are being planted in North and South Twin Lakes, too. Tribal waters also feature largemouth and smallmouth bass, kokanee and a few eastern brook trout. Officials are raising broodstock of native west slope cutthroat with a goal of planting them, Sears said. The cutthroats were found in the upper reaches of the Ninemile drainage between the San Poil River and Twin Lakes in Ferry County. Lahontan cutthroat, which thrive in the alkaline water of Omak Lake, is an imported species.
"They are still growing there. They do well there," Sears said. The reservation opener is later this year — April 17 — because of complaints received after last year's opener the second weekend of April, she said. Many lakes remained icecovered last year on the opener, but that isn't a concern with this year's mild winter. Twin Lakes, among the last reservation lakes to be ice free, was without ice March 24. Most reservation seasons run until Oct. 31, ending at the same time as state seasons. The tribe plans to build a new hatchery adjacent to Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport, but is awaiting final permitting from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "We were hoping to break ground this spring," Sears said. "But I have no concerns about it being approved." Also new this year is a second pole rule for boundary waters. A two-pole stamp costs $12.50. Tribal officials are doing a predation study on the San Poil Arm of Lake Roosevelt where walleye and smallmouth bass are eating remnant steelhead stock. The upper arm of the San Poil is open to unlimited walleye and smallmouth bass fishing, but anglers must keep what they catch. A tribal license is required. Buoys will be placed at Manila Creek, with fishing extending past the area's park to the free-flowing section of the San Poil. The free-flowing area varies, depending on the lake's level. There will be kokanee and wild trout releases in place for the area. An oxygenation system tested last year in North Twin Lake "worked wonderfully," Sears said. The lake saw great carryover of trout. Before, trout were restricted to about 5 percent of the lake's volume in the summer. "We also noticed a difference in shiners," she said. A similar system will be installed in South Twin Lake this summer but probably will not be operational until next year. "It was like night and day between the two lakes" with the oxygenation system in one and not the other, Sears said. Next year, tribal officials plan to study whether to use tank oxygen or put in an oxygen-generating system. Buoys with remote sensing equipment will check oxygen levels. Tribal license prices are $40 for a regular season permit. Those who purchase a winter permit while buying the regular license pay $5
more. Buying a winter permit later will cost $15. Tribal regulation booklets were distributed March 25 and are available at license outlets: Chief Joe Smoke Shop and Triangle Texaco, both Brewster; Clark's All Sport and WalMart, both Colville; Coulee Playland Resort, Electric City; Dave's Gun and Pawn, Riverside; Highway Tires, Coulee Dam; Inchelium Store, Log Cabin Resort and Rainbow Beach, all Inchelium; Jackson's Chevron, Nespelem; J&J Smoke Shop, Okanogan; Keller Marina Ferry Store, Wilbur; Keller Community Store; McGinnis Lake, Elmer City; The Sport Shop, Republic; WalMart, Omak; Colville Tribal Fish and Wildlife and Colville Tribal Police, Nespelem. A seasonal permit allows anglers to fish 18 lakes and five creeks or rivers on or adjacent to the Colville Indian Reservation in Okanogan and Ferry counties. One-, threeand seven-day permits also are available. Free fishing will be offered Feb. 11-12, 2011, at Buffalo, Summit and Twin Lakes for both tribal and non-tribal anglers. Ice fishing most likely will be available. Apex, a small lake located four miles south of Inchelium and drains into Borgeau Lake, remains listed in the tribal fishing pamphlet but was left out of this report due to low water and reports the past few years that there is no longer largemouth bass in the lake. With the exception of the San Poil arm, the tribe tries to mirror state regulations on boundary waters. Reservation and state licenses are required when fishing from the reservation shoreline of boundary waters, which include Crawfish Lake, Lake Pateros (Wells Dam pool), Washburn Island Pond, Okanogan River and Lake Roosevelt (Grand Coulee Dam pool). For designated sites on Lake Rufus Woods, there is an either-or license requirement, Sears said. Those fishing in a boat in boundary waters adjacent to the reservation need only a state license. A tribal license is not required as long as an angler fishes from a boat. Sears said anglers should check tribal regulations before fishing any tribal waters. The tribe continues to help fund the state Colville Fish Hatchery, which supplies fish to many Eastern Washington sites. Those wishing to use a campfire or stay at a tribal campground may need additional permits. More information about campground
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permits is available from the Colville tribal parks department, 509-634-3145. More information about campfire permits is available from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs' fire management office, 509-6342194. Most tribal regulations, such as those for trout or bass limits, match state rules. Still, anglers would be wise to check tribal regulations prior to fishing. Unless otherwise noted, the daily catch limit for trout, including kokanee and other landlocked salmon species, is five fish, with not more than two longer than 20 inches. Minimum size is eight inches. Possession limit is two daily catch limits. On Lake Roosevelt only, anglers can keep two kokanee (unmarked) in addition to a daily trout catch limit. That means a bag limit of up to six trout. Steelhead, salmon, sturgeon and bull trout are closed to fishing. There were emergency openers last year that allowed fishing for steelhead and salmon fishing on boundary waters. Reservation waters, mostly in Okanogan County, include: Borgeau Lake: The 22-acre lake, located 4.5 miles south of Inchelium, offers redband rainbows, including some nice carryovers. Planted April 1 were a few triploid trout of about 6.5 pounds each. Largemouth bass range up to 4 pounds, though an angler did catch a 6-pound bass in early 2005. Bass are best fished once the lake warms up. There is a seldom-used boat ramp, along with a picnic table and outhouse. Buffalo Lake: After the Twin Lakes, Buffalo is the next most-fished water on the reservation for its redband rainbow trout, big triploids, kokanee and largemouth bass. The lake is no longer stocked with brook trout, which have not done well at this twomile long, 540-acre-plus lake 7.25 miles southeast of Nespelem, Shallenberger said. Although the lake's water level is down to where brush along the shore no longer is underwater, it still produces well. A gill net study last year showed selfpropagating kokanee doing best in the lake, Shallenberger said. "They had good weight. They were growing well," he said. "The biggest was probably 4 or 5 pounds. "But just because we can catch kokanee in our gill nets and see them in our acoustic studies does not mean the fisherman can catch them," he said.
The kokanee daily catch limit is 15 fish, which could help reduce the species' numbers and increase the amount of plankton available for other fish. Bass average 2 pounds, though they can get up to 5 pounds. There is a 25-bass daily catch limit. All bass caught must be kept, as outlined in the general regulations for bass. A crayfish season, where the limit is 5 pounds in the shell, runs July 1 through Sept. 15. The kokanee daily catch limit is 15 fish, which could help reduce the number of fish and increase the amount of plankton available for other fish. A winter season, which requires a winter fishing permit, runs Jan. 1 to March 15. Boat access is on the west side. RV hookups are available at a resort at the northeast end of the lake. Cook Lake: This tiny lake suffering from alkaline and low-water conditions is on Cameron Lake Road about a half-mile west of Little Goose Lake and east of Okanogan. The lake received some Lahontan fry last year. "I would not waste my time fishing there," Shallenberger said. "We will sample it this summer to see if any fish are in it." Access to the lake is limited because of private property. Crawfish Lake: Crawfish lies partly on tribal land and partly on state land. Its season matches the state's general fishing season April 24 to Oct. 31. (See listing with Highlands waters.) Those who fish from shore on the reservation side of the lake must possess a reservation license. For those who fish from a boat in reservation waters, a state license will suffice. The lake is managed by the state for rainbow and eastern brook trout. Duley Lake: Another of the shallow lakes east of Okanogan off Cameron Lake Road, it surprised biologists with Lahontan cutthroat surviving in its shallow depths. "But it was a very pleasant surprise," Shallenberger said of the lake eight miles south of Little Goose Lake on upper Cameron Lake Road. "It's an ugly lake," said Shallenberger, whose nets pulled fish in the 4- to 5-pound range last summer. He said winterkill was not too much of a problem at the lake. But summer kill remains a problem due to low water.
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2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 9
Reservation from 8 "I suspect there will be a lot of fish there this year," he said. LaFleur Lake: This seldom-fished lake sports largemouth bass, native redband rainbows and a few large triploid trout. Shallenberger said this is one of his favorite lakes on the reservation due to fat fish. "They grow faster there than any lake on the reservation," he said. The season runs from the first Saturday in May, which will be May 1 this year, until Oct. 31. Bass in the 2- to 3-pound range roam in the lake. The 25-acre lake is nine miles north of Inchelium. Although an attempt at a boat ramp exists, it's better to bring small, car-top boats because of difficult launching conditions. Lake Roosevelt: The Colville and Spokane tribes, along with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, manage the lake behind Grand Coulee Dam for kokanee that range from 16 to 18 inches. There was very little draw-down of the water this year, which means plant beds did not die and fish had plenty of access to spawn and hide. A kokanee program releases fingerlings each year to rehabilitate the population. Wild kokanee return to the San Poil. Two kokanee can be added to a daily catch limit of five trout. 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 net pen program is doing well there," Shallenberger said. "My friends are saying fishing is really good." 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. Lake Roosevelt, which is open all year, carries several special regulations. The lake is closed to sturgeon fishing. Anglers must become familiar with physical landmarks where the San Poil River and Lake Roosevelt meet. (See tribal fish pamphlet concerning the San Poil River.) Daily catch limit for trout is five fish, not more than two longer than 20 inches. Possession limit is two daily catch limits. The daily walleye limit is eight fish, not more than one longer than 22 inches. The lake sports smallmouth bass and a few largemouth bass. The fish are in the 1- to 2-pound range, with a few pushing 4 pounds. Daily bass catch limit is 10 fish, with no
minimum size limit, and only one bass greater than 14 inches may be kept. Lake Rufus Woods: This body of water is proving to be a dilemma for tribal fish biologists. For several years anglers got used to catching large triploid fish that escaped from a net pen operation that lost millions from holes in the pens. The new operator has fixed the holes and fish are not escaping, which means fishing success has dipped. The tribe continues to plant fish in the lake, which extends 51 miles behind Chief Joseph Dam. This summer, the tribe will use a $200,000 study to find ways to keep anglers happy. "It cannot be treated as a put-and-take lake," said. "People are used to 4- to 5-pound fish. There is no feasible way to plant 5-pound fish.You just cannot afford to do it. We have to find ways to get more growth out of fish, to find ways to efficiently keep the fishery up. It is something we are quite concerned with." The tribe's budget is $70,000 for the release of fish in the 3-pound range into the reservoir. The tribe and state are working to clarify license requirements. There are three designated fishing areas that will include camping and boat launch facilities. State or tribal licenses can be used at these areas. Other areas, if fished from shore on the reservation side, such as at Bridgeport State Park, require a reservation license. Either license is required if fishing from a boat. Many large triploid rainbows have been pulled from the lake. In recent years, fish weighing more than 20 pounds have been landed. The sterile fish benefit from feed flowing from a net pen operation near the Nespelem River. The lake also gets a lot of fish passing from Lake Roosevelt through Grand Coulee Dam. Some smallmouth bass and walleye live in the 7,800-acre reservoir. There is a bass slot limit with a daily catch limit of five fish less than 12 inches or more than 17 inches. No more than one fish can be longer than 17 inches. Wild kokanee, which contain special genetic material, must be released in Nespelem River Bay from July 15 to Nov. 30 to protect naturally spawning fish. (For more on the lake, see state listing with major lakes and rivers.) For approved boat launch sites, check the back of the tribal fish pamphlet. There is a launch near Chief Joseph Dam and a ramp
near Seaton's Grove. There's also unimproved access off Columbia River Road near the Timm Ranch and Coyote Creek. Check the tribal pamphlet to learn more. Little Goose: This small lake east of Okanogan could hold some nice carryover redband trout after apparently escaping algae blooms last summer. Fish that average a .5-pound in the spring can get quite large fast because of so much feed in the lake, which averages a 3-foot drop in water level during the summer. The lake also received a handful of triploid trout this year. Little Goose, which has a boat access, is located nine miles east of Okanogan on Cameron Lake Road. Lost Creek: Rainbow and brook trout live in the creek, located in the north central part of the reservation and starting near the headwaters of Crawfish Lake northeast of Riverside. "It is a nice little creek where people camp all summer long, which is one of the problems there," Shallenberger said. "These people are fishing it every day." The creek, which is planted three times a year with legal-size rainbows, flows east, staying mostly in the reservation, and feeds into the west fork of the San Poil River north of the reservation's boundary. The first planting usually is in May after the spring freshet. The few trout that do not get caught can reach 14 inches by fall. The creek also holds a few tiny brook trout. Some of the creek flows through private land, so anglers need to get permission before fishing. The creek can be reached via state Highway 155 through Lyman Lake. McGinnis Lake: This is the only brook trout-only lake on the reservation open to the public, with very nice carryovers up to 20 inches and several pounds. It's best fished either early or late due to brook trout hiding when it's hot. "People complain all summer long they can't fish," Shallenberger said. "Last summer, in light of the complaints, we did a net study. We found the brook trout were beautiful. We caught lots of big fish." Larger boats can be launched at the 115acre lake a mile south of Buffalo Lake and 9.5 miles southeast of Nespelem. Nicholas Lake: The limited-access lake north of Inchelium has a season for rainbows from May 1 to Oct. 31. The late opener allows a mid-April plant of legal-sized rainbows to acclimatize at the lake, which is difficult to reach both by muddy road and by water. The lake features a shallow bench before
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getting to the good part to fish, so not many people work their way to the open water. Some years, the lake suffers a severe winter kill. The 2-acre lake is located 11.6 miles north of Inchelium. Okanogan River: 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.) When salmon can be taken, only tribal members can take them from the reservation side of the river. The river is open all year from the mouth to the Malott bridge for all game fish except trout, salmon and steelhead. An emergency regulation may open the river for steelhead fishing in the fall. From Dec. 1 to March 31 gear is restricted to a single hook, no larger than size 14. Upstream from the Malott bridge, the season runs June 1 to Aug. 31 for all game fish except trout, salmon and steelhead. Anglers are allowed to use bait north of the Malott bridge. Selective fishery rules no longer apply since the state considers the river a warm water fishery. Bait is prohibited from the mouth to the Malott bridge, with the stretch of water considered a selective fishery. The daily bass limit is five bass less than 12 inches or more than 17 inches, with no more than one bass over 17 inches (same as the state's regulation). Omak Creek: This creek located east of Omak is closed to non-member fishing due to a summer steelhead program. Rainbows are no longer planted in the creek. Omak Lake: There is a limit of three Lahontan cutthroat (not more than one being longer than 18 inches) at this 3,000-acre lake seven miles southeast of Omak off state Highway 155, and those fish are consistently in nice shape. A catch-and-release season runs March 1 to May 31, while spawning fish are trapped for egg collection. The lake has a year-round season. Fishing success may be down because of vandalism three years ago when someone cut anchors on traps and dragged them ashore. They took a few fish but left many to die. A mandatory creel census at the lake shows anglers are catching lots of fish 18 inches or larger. Fish can reach up to 18 pounds, which is the current state record set in 1993 at the lake. Non-members can access the south end
of the lake north of Baines Beach. Access from Baines Beach southward is for tribal members only. Two boat accesses are available on the north end of the lake — Nicholson Beach off Columbia River Road and Mission access at the end of the road past Paschal Sherman Indian School off state Highway 155. The north embayment (next to the Mission boat ramp) is closed to boating and fishing March 1 to May 31. All islands are closed to access from March 1 to April 30 while birds are nesting. Anglers may use artificial lures and flies with barbless hooks only; no bait fishing is allowed. Fishing is allowed from dawn to dark daily. Anglers are required to furnish creel census information. Rebecca Lake: One of the better largemouth bass lakes on the reservation, Rebecca 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. There is a bass slot limit with a daily catch limit of five fish less than 12 inches or longer than 17 inches. No more than one fish can be more than 17 inches. A few legal-size trout have been planted in the lake. There is an unimproved boat launch facility, which sometimes can be blocked by floating islands of brush. San Poil River: The tribe puts a lot of effort into this stretch of water that dumps into Lake Roosevelt. "There are not near as many big fish in there any more," Shallenberger said. "The problem is smallmouth bass and walleye predation," he said. "They are eating all the trout coming out of the San Poil (into Lake Roosevelt). There are none left to go back up there. They are basically getting 100 percent of the production." Shallenberger said the tribe is looking at the problem. The tribe continues its transition to native redband trout, raised at its hatchery, for the river. Redband trout were native to the drainage but disappeared over the years. The free-flowing reach of the system is open to fishing from May 1 to Oct. 31. Walleye and smallmouth bass also inhabit the river. A catch-and-release trout season May 1 to Oct. 31 covers the area from Thirty Mile bridge to the reservation boundary. Only single-hook, artificial flies and lures with barbless hooks may be used. Bait fishing is prohibited. There is a wild kokanee release in effect.
See Reservation Page 10
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Page 10 — 2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash.
Reservation from 9 The San Poil has a 25-fish daily catch limit for walleye and smallmouth bass. There are no walleye or smallmouth bass size limits in the river section. Regulations differ for the river and Lake Roosevelt, into which the river flows. A bay formed where the waters meet fluctuates by season, causing regulations to fluctuate. With the river not reaching the high water mark, at an elevation of 1,290 feet, the definition of the flowing river can change by as much as one to three miles. Anglers should have a tribal permit if they're fishing for walleye and smallmouth bass in the San Poil and be aware of differences in seasons and bag limits between the San Poil and Lake Roosevelt. The river produces best in the fall for rainbows up to 5 pounds. State Highway 21 parallels the San Poil River for 58 miles from Republic to the Columbia River. Stranger Creek: This tiny creek is closed from Inchelium-Gifford Road downstream to the mouth. Best success lies in beaver ponds. Anglers should get permission before fishing on private property that borders the creek, which runs out of Twin Lakes near Inchelium. The creek, which is planted in three separate locations each June when water levels recede, contains naturally spawning brook trout and plants of sterilized rainbows 13-14 inches. The season is April 17 through Oct. 31. Summit Lake: The tribe doesn't plan to plant brook trout due to low water. The bay by the Boy Scout camp has dried up. Anglers should not expect much success at the lake, with a season of April 17 to Oct. 31. It also has a winter season, which requires a separate tribal winter fishing license Jan. 1 to March 15. The lake is up a steep hill about six miles east of Disautel and 11.5 miles northwest of Nespelem around
3,500 feet elevation. Twin Lakes: Anglers can expect some nice carryover fish in North Twin Lake due to an oxygenation system last year that eliminated much of the summer kill. In the past, the upper 20 feet were too hot for trout in the summer. The next six feet were cool enough for trout and still had enough oxygen for fish to survive. From there water may be cool but did not contain oxygen. The system oxygenated the bottom half of the lake, where studies show trout are living well now. A similar system will be built at South Twin Lake. The lake contains largemouth bass in the 10- to 16inch range plus redband rainbow trout and some eastern brook. A few triploid trout will be planted. There is a slot limit at the lake, where there is a 15bass limit. Only bass less than 12 inches and more than 17 inches can be kept, with not more than two over 17 inches allowed. "The middle-size bass are controlling the gold shiner population," Shallenberger said. A regulation change has anglers limited to one rainbow trout over 20 inches daily in their five-trout limit. All legal fish of eight inches or longer must be kept and counted as part of the limit. The change is due to anglers tossing small fish, often caught with bait or treble hooks, back into the lake where they did not survive. Anglers were in search of the larger triploids, Shallenberger said. "People were throwing a 0.5-pound trout away. We are trying to put a stop to that." These lakes are now the second-most popular angling area on the reservation, being surpassed by only Lake Rufus Woods. The regular season runs April 17 to Oct. 31. A special tribal winter license is required for a Jan. 1 to March 15 season. It is lawful to fish to the base of the Stranger Creek outlet structure.
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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 season at this 13-acre pond, managed mainly by the state for bass and lying partly on the reservation and partly on state land, runs April 1 to Sept. 30. There is a 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 over 17 inches. Largemouth bass run up to a couple pounds at the pond, located four miles east of Brewster off state Highway 17. The lake also contains bluegill and catfish. Anglers must possess state and Colville tribal fishing licenses if fishing from shore. A state license is required for fishing from a boat. Use of internal combustion engines is prohibited. The boat launch area includes toilets and parking. Wells Reservoir: Often called Lake Pateros, the pool is formed on the Columbia River behind Wells Dam up to Chief Joseph Dam. The reservoir is open all year. This is another area where the tribal regulations match state regulations. The reservoir is closed to salmon and steelhead fishing, though emergency measures may open limited seasons in the fall for summer Chinook salmon and steelhead. The reservoir, which is managed by the state, is closed to shoreline fishing from the base of Chief Joseph Dam downstream to the state Highway 17 bridge on the reservation side (Okanogan County side). Closed waters are at Chief Joseph Dam between the west end of the tail race deck downstream 400 feet to the boundary marker. Bass and walleye also live in the reservoir. There is a bass slot limit with a daily catch limit of five fish less than 12 inches or more than 17 inches. No more
than one fish can be larger than 17 inches. Wilmont Creek: This creek is closed to all fishing from Silver Creek Road downstream to mouth to protect spawning rainbows. The creek, 20 miles south of Inchelium, receives a few plants (above the falls) of native redband rainbows (planted after spring runoff sometime in May) and contains a few naturally spawning brook trout. The creek 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 twothirds of the creek borders private land, so anglers should seek landowner permission before fishing.
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2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. â€” Page 11
Muskies, whitefish head Ferry fishing opportunities By Al Camp The Chronicle Fishing opportunities in Ferry County range from tiger muskies and several resorts on Curlew Lake to whitefish in the Kettle River. In between, anglers can find quiet, high-elevation lakes in Colville National Forest containing brook and rainbow trout. Most have the standard April 24 to Oct. 31 season. Many have campgrounds and/or restricted boat access. Anglers should check season and boat rules with state and county officials. The following are major lakes within the county: Curlew Lake: The largest lake by far in the county, this 870-acre body of water is open year-round starting about four miles northeast of Republic and running along state Highway 21 north. Anglers can haul in rainbow trout, largemouth bass and tiger muskies. Muskies must be released unless they are 36 inches or longer. Early season fishing is best for fry-planted and netpen-raised rainbow trout. Later, largemouth bass fishing is better. Davis Lake: This 10-acre lake is located five miles northwest of Boyds at an elevation of 4,550 feet in the Colville National Forest. Anglers can expect cutthroat trout that grow from annual fry to 9-12 inches. Lake Ellen: This 78-acre Colville National Forest lake is located 14 miles north of Inchelium at 2,300 feet. Rainbow fry were planted last spring. The fish could be of good size this year. Empire Lakes: These three small Colville National Forest lakes totaling six acres are located 11 miles north of Republic at an elevation of 3,600 feet.
They contain eastern brook trout. Fry are planted each year. Anglers can expect fish starting at eight inches on the opener and larger later in the season. Ferry Lake: This 19-acre lake is planted each year with fry and catchable-size rainbow trout. To reach the lake, which is open year-round, go south for nine miles from Republic and west on state Highway 21 before heading up Forest Service Road No. 53/Scatter Creek. Fish Lake: This four-acre lake at 3,300 feet is located about a mile south of Ferry Lake on a county road. The lake holds catchable-size rainbow trout planted annually. Kettle River: The Kettle is closed to fishing for all species except whitefish from Nov. 1 through May 31 above the Lake Roosevelt boundary (Barstow bridge). Whitefish anglers can expect an excellent late-winter fishery Nov. 1 through May 31. Check the latest regulations pamphlet for gear restrictions on whitefish. Selective gear rules are in effect during the June 1 through Oct. 31 open season. Sturgeon fishing is closed at all times. Long Lake: This 14-acre, fly-fishing only Colville National Forest lake is located 11 miles southwest of Republic at 3,250 feet in the Scatter Creek drainage. Anglers can expect fry-planted cutthroat trout in the 9to 17-inch range, with larger fish planted in the fall. Lake Roosevelt: See entries with Okanogan County and reservation waters. Renner Lake: This 9.6-acre Colville National Forest lake is two miles west of Barstow and six miles south from Orient at 2,525 feet. Renner offers catchable brown trout and brook trout fry. Anglers can walk about a half-mile to the lake. Swan Lake: This 52-acre lake at 3,641 feet elevation is stocked annually with rainbow trout fry but also contains
brook and cutthroat trout. 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. Trout Lake: Internal combustion engines are prohibited by county ordinance on this 8-acre lake eight miles west of Kettle Falls. It has a primitive boat launch. The Colville National Forest lake is at 3,200 feet elevation in the southeast end of Hoodoo Canyon. Rainbows are planted as fry early in the year. 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 include eastern brook trout that sometimes fall to winterkills.
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Page 12 â€” 2010 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash.