Page 1


Page 2 — 2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash.

Okanogan, Ferry and tribe offer great fishing More than 100 lakes filled with big trout By Al Camp Chronicle staff Okanogan and Ferry counties, along with the adjacent Colville Indian Reservation, provide some of the best fishing in the state for brook, brown, cutthroat, rainbow and tiger trout as well as bass, bluegill, 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 a dozen lakes, while the reservation includes 18 lakes and five creeks with a large variety of species. Anglers can expect great fishing success in just about every corner of Okanogan County this season, except for low-water lakes on the west side of the reservation and Little Twin Lake in the Methow Valley. “Anglers need to know that on some of the smaller water bodies you have problems with fish loss over the winter,� state Department of Fish and Wildlife Regional Fish Biologist Bob Jateff said. “Some of our shallower lakes can have some problems.� Production waters, such as Conconully, Spectacle, Wannacut, Pearrygin and Alta, all receive healthy plants, Jateff said. “Number-wise, we should be in pretty good shape there.� The general statewide fishing season for lakes runs from April 30 to Oct. 31. Rivers, streams and beaver ponds, unless otherwise noted, open the first Saturday of June (June 4) and remain open through Oct. 31. The Colville Confederated Tribe’s general fishing season is April 16 to Oct. 31. Streams close Oct. 31 unless otherwise specified under special regulations. (See separate story for reservation and Ferry County prospects.) 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 11-12. There is a summer Chinook salmon season of July 16 to Aug. 31 between Wells Dam and the state Highway 173 bridge at Brewster. 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, was not planted last year to allow previous plants of cutthroats a chance to get bigger. 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 lake is located in the Limebelt north of Omak and offers eastern brook and cutthroat up to 11 inches. To reach the lake, travel west from Okanogan or Omak to Conconully Highway and head north to the sign point to the lake. The dirt road, which can be impassable in the spring due to rain, goes four miles to the lake. 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 and rule changes. Walleye fishing is predominant from January to June. Anglers should check the state fishing

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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 — The upper and lower waters, open April 30 to Oct. 31, contain large triploids in the 1- to 2-pound range along with rainbows in 11-13 inch range with carryovers to 16 inches. The lakes also contain bass, though Jateff said they are not affecting the size or catch rates at this times. “Both are big bodies of water,� Jateff said. “They can co-exist for a while.� 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 the Conconully Reservoir. The 313-acre upper lake is located east of Conconully and 15 miles northwest of Okanogan. Statewide, there is 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

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expect rainbow trout averaging 9-11 inches with a few carryovers up to 16 inches. The 450-acre lake, located south of Conconully, is open April 30 to Oct. 31. The reservoir features several resorts and an excellent state park. Conner Lake — Located near Forde Lake, this 58-acre lake in the Sinlahekin is planted with tiger trout but also contains eastern brook propagate naturally in Sinlahekin Creek. 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 30 to Oct. 31. Fish Lake — This 102-acre lake, located four miles northeast of Conconully, along with nearby Schalow Pond contain brown bullheads and are the lone county lakes on the state’s suggested fall rehabilitation list. The lake, last rehabilitated in 2004, received 28,100 plants of rainbow fry last year that are now in the 8- to 12-inch range. The season runs April 30 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 U.S. 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 is planted with tiger trout (200 last year) and contains naturally reproducing eastern brook trout in the 10-12 inch range. Nearby Reflection Lake may hold tiger trout. Forde, built as an impoundment pond in 1949, is open April 30 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 — Green, the larger lake at 45 acres, received 10,400 rainbow plants. Little Green of 9-acres was planted with 2,200 last season. 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 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. The lower also contains a few 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 carry-over 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. 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.

Fishrapper Š 2011 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 Lynn Hoover, Advertising Manager 509-826-1110 • 800-572-3446 509-826-5819 fax www.omakchronicle.com

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*This excerpt is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Situations must be reviewed on a case by case basis before any legal advice can be given. Please come see us for legal advice about your specific situation. We couldn't skip the fine print because we are lawyers after all.


2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 3 Anglers must be 14 and younger to fish the creek, which holds a few rainbows. Leader Lake — This lake seven miles west of Okanogan received larger plants last year after fingerlings planted in the past did not survive due to spiny rays — crappie, bluegills and largemouth bass. Located seven miles west of Okanogan off state Highway 20, this popular 159-acre lake should provide good fishing early in the season (April 30 to Sept. 30) for yearling rainbow trout up to 14 inches and larger carryovers. The lake also received a plant of 7,200 black crappie last year. 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 — 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 October to March the last few seasons. Because steelhead are listed under the Endangered Species Act, fisheries have been modified substantially for all species in the river. A steelhead fishery is dependent upon run size that exceeds natural-origin escapement requirements. There is a summer Chinook season July 1 to Oct. 15 in a small area from the U.S. Highway 97 bridge near Brewster to the mouth at the Columbia River. There is a season July 1 to Sept. 15 above the bridge to the U.S. Highway 97 bridge near Oroville. The river, which is considered a warm-water 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. There is an excellent boat launch 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 are 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. 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 city park with boat launch at Boundary Point about four miles north of town off U.S. Highway 97. Palmer Lake — This 2,063-acre lake about four miles north of Loomis is gaining more and more popularity for its 10-14 inch bass, both smallmouth and largemouth, and 11-13 inch kokanee. Palmer, which is one of the state’s most diverse fishing experiences in a managed lake, is open all year though best fished in May and June. The bag limit for smallmouth is 10 fish, only one of which can be over 14 inches. There is a five-fish limit for largemouth, with none being allowed 12-17 inches and only one over 17 inches. Other fish in the lake include naturally spawning rainbow, yellow perch (great to fish in winter), crappie, pikeminnows 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). 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 with cabins and small boat rentals available. Rat Lake — This 63-acre lake located five miles north of Brewster is open under catch-and-release, selective gear rules fishing only from April 1 through Nov. 30. Anglers can expect good fishing for rainbow (15,00 planted in 2010) and brown trout (1,000 planted) 10-12

inches, with a few carryovers to 15 inches. Jateff said he threw in a few tiger trout, too, to see how they survive. 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. 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. Access may be an issue during winter, since the road is not plowed. Reflection Pond — The five-acre 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 30 through Oct. 31, the lake received 100 tiger trout last year that are 9-10 inches for the opener. The lake has received triploids in the past, though none were on last year’s plant list. This is a very small, scenic lake that lends itself well to float tubes and very small boats, said Jateff. Rock Lake — This is a cutthroat-managed lake, though a few eastern brook and tiger trout from previous years may still be present. The lower 4.5-acre lake produces well while the 3.5-acre upper lake is not consistent. 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 30 to Oct. 31. Rufus Woods Lake — The 51-mile-long lake, which is actually a river reservoir and all open year round, lies behind Chief Joseph Dam on the Columbia River just upstream from Bridgeport.

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Anglers enjoy fishing for triploid rainbows up to 20 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. Chumming is not 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 from the Douglas County shoreline. 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. 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 because there is not a fish ladder at Chief Joseph Dam. Triploids from Rufus Woods do escape through the dam into 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. 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’

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Page 4 — 2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. 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 June 4 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 that’s placed the 10-acre pond on a possible rehabilitation list for this fall. 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 — This 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 (100 rainbows in April and May) 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 extends into Canada and offers fair fishing for winter whitefish 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. There is a summer Chinook season July 1 to Sept. 15 from the mouth to 400 feet below Enloe Dam. Check regulations 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 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 northrunning stream.

Selective gear rules are in effect during a short season that runs from June 4 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. Smith Lake — This small lake in the Chiliwist south of Malott can be accessed via Olema Road for rainbows. The lake is planted early with 1,000 fingerlings that are catchable by the fall. Spectacle Lake — Anglers get a jump on the general fishing season at this lake near Loomis with an April 1 to Sept. 30 season. Created as a reservoir for area orchards, Spectacle holds yearling rainbow in the 10- to 12-inch range plus carryovers to 15 inches. The lake received 85,500 rainbow fry plants last year and 14,500 larger plants in March. Spectacle also received 7,000 brown trout fry and 800 triploids last year that can reach 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 at the lake, which is on a long-range rehabilitation list (not this fall) due to yellow perch and bass. 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. Last year, only rainbows were planted at the 5.5acre middle lake, which has received brook and cutthroat trout in the past, and 8-acre upper lake, which several years ago also received brook trout. The lower 4.3-acre lake contains largemouth bass and bluegill. Most anglers park and walk to the lakes, which seem to escape winter kill, rather than taken on the steep, unmaintained rough road. Small boats or canoes can be launched. 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 — Though fishable for rainbow trout, this small lake north of Conconully Lake suffers from low water that caused it not to be planted last year. “It looked like it was overpopulated,” Jateff said. “I wanted to give the fish a chance to grow.” 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, which cannot be kept, and eastern brook, with a 10-fish bag limit in the lake and its tributaries.

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“The goal is to try to a take a number of brook trout out and let the cutthroat replace them,” Jateff said. “We want to restore the lake back to cutthroat.” 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 (can’t be kept), is 0.7 mile south of Big Tiffany. Wannacut Lake — This 411-acre 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 11- to 12-inch range with a few carryovers up to 15 inches. The lake, which has an April 30 to Oct. 31 season, contains saline water (magnesium sulfate) that makes fish taste especially good. The lake (65,400 fry planted last year) 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 — Among the weed beds, anglers are catching largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish at this 130-acre diked area of the Columbia River north of Brewster. The pond is on the Colville Indian Reservation, with a April 1 to Sept. 30 season. 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.

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2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 5 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 more than 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. 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 for cutthroat 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 30 to Oct. 31. There is a two-fish limit on triploid eastern brook trout 11-13 inches. A few tiger trout also have been planted but probably won’t be of size until next year. 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 warmwater fisheries in the county. The lake is located about five miles northwest of Tonasket with largemouth bass biting 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 more than 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 and small bluegill 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 handicap 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 (3,100 last year), though brook trout appear to be reproducing naturally in a nearby creek. The lakes produce well 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 — This 13-acre lake, which receives rainbow fingerlings (2,100) and is located a half-mile northwest of Beaver Lake, is open all year.

The annual planting is needed because of winter kill, 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 4 to Oct. 31. Bonaparte Lake — This 159-acre lake is considered the most diverse state-managed lake in the county with its plants of eastern brook (26,900) in the 11- to 13-inch range, kokanee (14,700) in the 8- to 12inch range and tiger trout (2,100). The lake also holds smallmouth bass, rainbows and a rare Mackinaw (lake trout). The lake is open all year with a five-trout limit, with only one trout being allowed over 20 inches. Bonaparte is located about 20 miles east of Tonasket and north off state Highway 20. A resort and a national forest campground with a boat ramp and fishing pier are available. The lake also can 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 30 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. Fanchers Dam Reservoir — The state planted 1,000 fingerling rainbows in this reservoir off the Havillah Road and about 11 miles northeast of Tonasket. The reservoir suffers from irrigation draw-down and sometimes winter kill, Jateff said. Long Lake — This 17-acre lake, like nearby Ell and Round lakes, is suffering from low-water levels. The levels are so low that the boat ramp is difficult, if not impossible, to use, Jateff said. Long received 2,000 fingerling rainbows last year. 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 30 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. Low-water conditions make it necessary for anglers to carry boats or slide them down a bank into the lake. Lost Lake — This quiet lake north of Bonaparte Lake was planted last year with 10,000 eastern brook and 5,200 rainbows. Lost is open all year and produces brookies of 12 inches. There are no size limits; internal combustion motors are prohibited.

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Page 6 — 2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. The 47-acre lake at an elevation of 3,817 feet is best fished in the spring and fall. There is a Forest Service campground with graveled boat launch available at the north end. Take state 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, all of which are mostly surrounded by private land, include Toroda, Bonaparte and Myers. Lost Creek is open June 4 to Oct. 31. 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. Lyman Lake — This rich, 3.5-acre lake at an elevation of 2,880 feet is located near the Aeneas Valley and offers year-round fishing for rainbows. The lake, which is not on the plant schedule this year, has received small fingerlings in the past. Lyman is 2.5 miles southwest of Aeneas on Forest Service Road No. 357. Molson Lake — The 20-acre lake, which is open year round, can suffer from winter kill but also can produce rainbows in the 8- to 11-inch range. Molson, which is located near Sidley Lake, received 2,000 fish in April. Take the Tonasket Creek Road for eight miles east of Oroville, then north five miles through Molson to the lake. Round Lake — This lake of less than 20 acres is located next to Long Lake in Aeneas Valley. It normally attracts a lot of anglers on opening day for rainbows in the 11- to 12-inch range. The lake (2,000 fingerlings planted), which is open April 30 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 quarter-mile away, are suffering from low water levels. Sidley Lake — Management of this 109-acre lake, located near Molson at 3,675 feet and open all year, includes the planting of 10,000 legal-size rainbows in either April or October. There is a two-fish limit for rainbows that can reach 9-10 inches aided by an aerator. 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. 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 11-acre lake, 5.5 miles southeast of Oroville near Mount Hull, received 4,000 cutthroat last year. Summit, which is open year round, has not been great fishing the last few years because of winter kill. Best fished in the fall, Summit lies at an elevation

of 4,320 feet. Methow Valley Alta Lake — This 184-acre lake west of Pateros holds rainbows in the 10- to 12-inch range (500 planted at 14 inches) and triploids in the 14-inch range (588 planted). Expect carryovers to be 15 inches are larger. Anglers can find a concrete public boat launch, a state park with full facilities, a private resort and an 18hole 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 30 to Sept. 30. Larger boats can be launched at the resort. 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 4 and through Oct. 31, Andrews offers native rainbows. Dolly Varden (bull trout) may not be caught legally in the creek. There is a two-fish limit. Fish must be eight inches long. 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 shallow lake, open April 30 to Oct. 31, is owned by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. It sometimes suffers from winter kill. The semi-remote lake, 0.7 mile southwest of Moccasin Lake (a private lake), historically has been an eastern brook lake but also received plants last year of tiger trout (200) and cutthroat (2,000). Aspen can be reached by taking the Twisp River and Big Buck Lake roads. The last half-mile is on foot. Dibble Lake — This small lake off Wandling Road near Twin Lakes Road was planted with 100 legal rainbows in April. The shallow lake, which is open year round, requires a quarter-mile walk down a driveway. Big Buck Lake — The seldom-fished lake, which has been planted with 1,000 catchable rainbows, has a year-round season. Largemouth bass also may be found in the small lake, which can suffer winter kill. Big Buck is located due south of Moccasin 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 hikers 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. Cougar Lake — This catch-and-release lake is open April 1 through Aug. 31for legal-size rainbows. There is a catch-and-keep season of Sept. 1 to March 31 with a standard five-fish limit. 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. There is a campground nearby with a graveled boat launch for smaller watercraft. Travel 2.5 miles south of Winthrop on the TwispWinthrop 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 highmountain-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-and-release, selective gear rules April 1 through Aug. 31. Combustion engines are not allowed on the lake, though you can use electric motors during the selective gear season. A catch-and-keep season is Sept. 1 through March 31 without selective gear rules. The popular, 30acre acre lake is fished intensely opening day. The lake received 4,000 rainbow plants last year that average 11-13 inches with carryovers to 15 inches.

  



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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 TwispWinthrop 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, nine-acre lake, situated at 6,500 feet elevation with cutthroat, is not ice-free until June. 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 4) 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, 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 4) to Oct. 31. 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 4 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.

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2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 7 Louis Lake — This 27-acre lake, which receives a lot of pressure, contains mostly cutthroat, although a few rainbows ply 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 4 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 is closed on the stretch from Lower Burma Road bridge to McFarland Creek. Camping is available, but steep riverbanks 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 3.5 miles west of Winthrop. Last year’s plants include kokanee, triploids, tiger trout and rainbows. The lake also includes perch. Follow Patterson Lake Road from Twin Lakes. A resort and public access with toilets and a gravel launch are available. Pearrygin Lake — The popular lake north of Winthrop should produce good fishing for rainbows up to 10 inches and carryovers in the 14- to 15-inch range. The lake was to receive 500 large triploids prior to the April opener. The 192-acre lake, which has a season of April 30 to Sept. 30, received 70,000 rainbow fingerlings last year. 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 handicapaccessible. 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 midsummer after the ice is off. Cutthroats propagate naturally in the lake, meaning fish range in size from 1 to 14 inches. Heavy pressure from hike-in anglers minimizes the number 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 4 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. Varden Lake -—This small, high lake at 6,191 feet was planted with 330 fingerling cutthroat last year. 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 Creek Trail. The unmaintained trail climbs steeply uphill then follows the ridge top to tiny Mudhole Lake (no fish). From that point 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 beat path and away from crowds, is best fished July through October. War Creek — The creek is open June 4 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.

Lead banned on some Ferry County lakes By Al Camp The Chronicle The biggest change on some Ferry County lakes is anglers a ban on the use of smaller lead weights and lead jigheads. A state rule change, which helps protect nesting loons, is in effect at Swan, Ferry and Pierre lakes. Lead can not be used in flies at Long Lake, a fly fishing-only lake. But the region offers a chance to catch trout, tiger muskies and even whitefish. Several high-elevation lakes lie within the Colville National Forest. Major lakes within the county are: Curlew Lake -— The largest lake by far in the county, this 870-acre body of water is open year-round. It’s about four miles northeast of Republic and runs along state Highway 21 north. “Curlew should be really good fishing this spring,” Regional Fish Biologist Bill Baker said. “It’s been excellent the last five years or so. I don’t expect anything different this year.” Anglers can haul in rainbow trout, largemouth bass and tiger muskies. Muskies must be released unless they are 50 inches or longer. Curlew Lake State Park offers camping, picnicking and boat access, and several private resorts are on the lake. Early season fishing is best rainbows, many of which have been net-pen-raised. Largemouth bass fishing heats up later in the summer. Muskies were planted in 1998 to control northern pikeminnows. 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. The season runs from April 30 through Oct. 31 (best fished later in the summer after the snow melts) for 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. Ellen’s season runs from April 30 through Oct. 31 for rainbow trout. The lake was rehabilitated in the fall of 2008 for green sunfish, which Baker said have reappeared in the lake. “Hopefully, fishing is still going to be good,” he said.

There is a developed Forest Service campground. 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. The season runs from April 30 through Oct. 31 for eastern brook trout. Fry are planted each year. Anglers can expect fish starting at 8 inches on the opener and larger later in the season. Ferry Lake -—Fishing should be pretty good at this 19-acre lake planted each year with rainbow trout. 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, 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. Located at 3,329 feet, anglers will find a useable fishery despite frequent winter kills. A Forest Service campground is available. 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, which is open from April 30 through Oct. 31, 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 latewinter 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. Rainbows and brown trout also reside in the river, where access is limited. The river is accessible at the Midway bridge. Sturgeon fishing is closed at all times. Long Lake —This 14-acre Colville National Forest lake is located 11 miles southwest of Republic in the Scatter Creek drainage. There is a lead restriction, with no lead allowed in flies to protect nesting loons. This fly fishing-only lake at 3,250 feet is open from April 30 through Oct. 31 for cutthroat in the 9- to 17inch range. Cutthroat trout are best caught in the fall after they’ve fattened all summer. No motors of any type are allowed on the lake, which includes a Forest Service campground and boat launch.

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Page 8 — 2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. 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, which is open from April 30 through Oct. 31, offers catchable brown trout and brook trout fry. 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 — This 52-acre lake is managed for rainbow trout. 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 10 miles southwest of Republic in the Colville National Forest’s Scatter Creek drainage a couple miles east of the Okanogan County line. The lake, open from April 30 through Oct. 31, is at 3,641 feet elevation. An improved Forest Service campground is on the east shore. Trout Lake — Internal combustion engines are prohibited by county ordinance on this eight-acre lake eight miles west of Kettle Falls. The Colville National Forest lake is at 3,200 feet elevation in the southeast end of Hoodoo Canyon. There is a primitive boat launch at a Forest Service campground. Trout season is open April 30 through Oct. 31 for rainbows planted as fry early in the year. Ward lakes — These two small Colville National Forest lakes of seven total acres hold eastern brook trout about 9.5 miles north of Republic at 3,625 elevation in the Bacon Creek drainage. The lakes, which are open from April 30 through Oct. 31 and sometimes suffer winter kill. Internal combustion engines are prohibited by county ordinance.

Tribe’s Twin Lakes benefits from oxygenation By Al Camp Chronicle staff Twin Lakes west of Inchelium already produces some of the best fishing for native redband trout on the Colville Indian Reservation. An oxygenation system on the larger, north lake was installed two years ago due to loss of fish in the summer. That has led to higher fish survival. Before the system, trout could survive in a narrow 5 percent band of the lake’s volume in the summer and that led to high mortality, Senior Resident Fish Policy Analyst Sheri Sears said. A similar system will be operational his summer in the smaller, south lake, Hatchery Manager and Senior Resident Fish Biologist Ed Shallenberger said. “It was like night and day between the two lakes,� Sears said. “We’ve put a lot of effort in Twin Lakes over the years, switching to native redband stock from coastal stock,� he said. Another problem faced in the lakes was the redband trout migrating down Stanger Creek and into Lake Roosevelt. A barrier systems was installed last fall to keep the trout in the lakes. Both efforts should lead to more, larger fish, Shallenberger said. A triple whammy for anglers is that this year the tribe will be planting much bigger fish — from the Lake Rufus Woods net pens operated by Pacific Aquaculture — at a pound and a quarter each. Past plants averaged half pound to no more than three-quarters of a pound. Oh, there’s more — the lakes are rich in nutrients

that make fish grow fast and some large, sterile triploids are being planted in the lakes. The lakes also contain largemouth bass in the 10to 16-inch range and a few eastern brook. “I think we are in the upswing on those two lakes,� Shallenberger said. Anglers can expect no major changes in tribal regulations this year, Shallenberger said. Complete regulations are available online at http://nrd.colvilletribes.com/fishandwildlife.htm. The tribes general fishing season runs April 16 to March 31. Two exceptions are Nicholas and LaFleur lakes with May 1 to Oct. 31 seasons. A drought continues to plague lakes on the western side, especially near Omak, on the 1.4million-acre reservation within Okanogan and Ferry counties in northeastern Washington. Water levels on the eastern side appear to be OK, Shallenberger said. Big Goose, south of Omak Lake, is also low on water. But a number of Lahontan cutthroat remain (too few to manage), Schallenberger said. “We need about three or four years of aboveaverage snow pack to put these lakes back in shape,� he said. Fishing permit fees for 18 lakes and five creeks run $10 for one day, $20 for three days, $30 for seven days and $40 for a season. Licenses can be purchased at Chief Joseph Smoke Shop and Triangle Texaco, 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 Resort, all Inchelium; Jackson’s Chevron, Nespelem; J&J Smoke Shop, Okanogan; Keller Ferry Marina 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. 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. Reservation waters, mostly in Okanogan County, 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, bullheads and mosquitoes. Borgeau Lake — The 22-acre lake, located 4.5 miles south of Inchelium, offers redband rainbows with nice carryovers. The lake will be planted with triploid trout in the spring that average 7 pounds. Largemouth bass range up to 4 pounds. The boat ramp was upgraded last year. There also are 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, healthy population of kokanee and largemouth bass.

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2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 9 There is an occasional brook trout. The lake, where water levels are holding, is heavily planted in early April with redband trout, which will average more than a pound this year. Buffalo also will receive about 300 triploids at this two-mile long, 540-acre-plus lake 7.25 miles southeast of Nespelem, Shallenberger said. A gill net study showed self-propagating kokanee — they are up to 4 or 5 pounds — are doing very well in the lake while brook trout are not, Shallenberger said. “We think the largemouth bass are eating the brook trout,� he said, noting brookies are no longer planted. “There are some very large bass in there. The bass do well in there.� 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. A crayfish season, where the limit is 5 pounds in the shell, runs July 1 through Sept. 15. A winter season, which requires a winter fishing permit, runs Jan. 1 to March 15. There are two boat accesses — a public ramp and at Reynold’s Resort, which also has RV hookups on the northwest end of the lake. 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. The lake received a few Lahontan fry last year. 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 30 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 — This small lake east of Okanogan and eight miles south of Little Goose Lake on upper Cameron Lake Road surprised biologists with Lahontan cutthroat surviving in its shallow depths. “We put a few Lahontan fry in there as a lark a few years ago,� Shallenberger said. “They did very well, better than in Omak Lake. I think they are living on water dogs. It just blew me away when I saw those fish there.� LaFleur Lake — This seldom-fished, 25-acre lake nine miles north of Inchelium sports a few small largemouth bass, native redband rainbows (1,000 planted after spring thaw) and a few large triploid trout (100 or so plants each year). The season runs from the first Saturday in May, which will be May 7 this year, until Oct. 31. Bass in the 2- to 3-pound range roam in the lake. Best fished with a car-top boat due to difficult launching conditions. Lake Roosevelt — The water backed up behind Grand Coulee Dam is managed by the Colville and Spokane tribes, along with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. “This lake has so many different things going for it,� Shallenberger said of smallmouth bass, rainbow and redband trout, walleye and kokanee. Regulations are complex, too, so anglers should consult their fishing pamphlets. For instance, rules concerning the mouth of the San Poil River differ under state and tribal regulations. Though trout moving up the river can reach 5 and 6 pounds, there remains a problem of escapement for trout and kokanee fry. Walleye and bass sit at the

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mouth and consume nearly 100 percent of the fry coming down river, Shallenberger said. The lake also is stocked with triploid rainbows from 28 net pen rearing projects including Keller Marina, Hunters, Kettle Falls, Hall Creek and Seven Bays. Lake Roosevelt, which is open all year, 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. The lake is closed to sturgeon fishing. Lake Rufus Woods — Although fishing success for football-shaped triploid trout no longer matches what it was several years ago, the tribe continues to plant trout averaging seven pounds into the 51-mile stretch of water behind Chief Joseph Dam near Bridgeport. There is one marked boat launch near one of the pens were a state or tribal license can be used when fishing from shore. 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. There also 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. See entry with Okanogan County. Little Goose Lake — This small lake east of Okanogan suffers from low water and summer kill. “The water level drops a couple feet every year,� Shallenberger said. “Fish grow like crazy in the spring. When algae blooms, probably every other year, the fish die off.� The lake receives a spring plant of redband trout and a few triploids. Some carryover fish survive winters. Little Goose, which has a boat access, is located nine miles east of Okanogan on Cameron Lake Road.

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. The creek flows east, staying mostly in the reservation, and feeds into the west fork of the San Poil 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 can be reached via state Highway 155 through Lyman Lake. McGinnis Lake — 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. The lake includes carryovers up to 20 inches and several pounds. Larger boats can be launched at the 115-acre lake a mile south of Buffalo Lake and 9.5 miles southeast of Nespelem. Nicholas Lake — A few redband trout are tossed into the tiny hold of a lake north of Inchelium. “It’s a little difficult to fish, with cattle wading in it all the time,� Shallenberger said. “It’s not a priority lake for us.� Anglers with float tubes or a small canoe might catch a few fish at the limited-access lake with a May to Oct. 31 season. The lake features a shallow bench before getting to the good part to fish, so not many people work their way to the open water. The 2-acre lake, located 11.6 miles north of Inchelium, can suffer a winter kill. 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.)

    

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Page 10 — 2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. When salmon can be taken, only tribal members can take them from the reservation side of the river. See entry with Okanogan County. Omak Creek — This creek, which is no longer planted, is located east of Omak and is closed to nonmember fishing due to a summer steelhead program. Omak Lake — This 3,000-acre lake seven miles southeast of Omak off state Highway 155 may be several feet lower than normal, but still offers great fishing for Lahontan cutthroat. There is limit of three Lahontan cutthroat (not more than one being longer than 18 inches) at the lake, which is planted with 100,000 fish each year. The north embayment (next to the Mission boat ramp) is closed to boating and fishing March 1 to May 31. There is a catch-and-release season on the lake March 1 to May 31. All islands are closed to access from March 1 to April 30 while birds are nesting. “There are a lot of fish there and in good shape,” Shallenberger said. Fish traps to collect eggs for the tribal hatchery have fish more than three feet long. “There are some incredibly big fish in there,” he said. Best fished with a boat, 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. Anglers may use artificial lures and flies with barbless hooks only; no bait fishing is allowed. Fishing is allowed from dawn to dark daily. 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 and is best fished with a small boat. An unimproved boat launch can be blocked by floating weeds. 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. San Poil River — Walleye and bass are affecting the fishery by scarfing up fry trying to escape to Lake Roosevelt. That leaves few to return when they are bigger and catchable. 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. 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. 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. 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. A barrier at Twin Lakes will not allow redband trout

to escape; they could be caught behind beaver ponds in the past. The creek, which will be planted this year, has a half-dozen access points. Anglers should get permission before fishing on private property that borders the creek that also contains naturally spawning brook trout. The season is April 16 through Oct. 31. Summit Lake — This small lake six miles east of Disautel and 11.5 miles northwest of Nespelem around 3,500 feet elevation was not planted last year due to low-water levels. Only a few brook and redband trout are planted when levels are appropriate. “There’s not a lot of natural production in that lake,” Shallenberger said. “We don’t put a lot of fish in there because they just get skinny.” Access can also be a problem due to one route being steep and another being muddy. The lake has a summer season of April 16 to Oct. 31 and winter season, which requires a separate license, of Jan. 1 to March 15. Twin Lakes — The lakes compete with Lake Rufus Woods as the most popular waters on the reservation. The successful efforts to oxygenate both lakes and a newly installed barrier to keep redband trout from escaping into Stranger Creek could elevate Twin Lakes sole possession of Top Lake. The lake contains largemouth bass in the 10- to 16-inch range plus redband rainbow trout and some eastern brook. A few triploid trout are planted. There is a 15-bass limit at the lake, with only bass less than 12 inches or more than 17 inches being kept, and no more than two over 17 inches. It is lawful to fish to the base of Stranger Creek outlet structure. Only one rainbow trout can be kept over 20 inches. All legal fish caught must be kept and counted as part of the limit.

The regular season runs April 16 to Oct. 31. A special tribal winter license is required for a Jan. 1 to March 15 season. 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 lets the state handle this 13-acre pond that lies partly on the reservation and partly on state land four miles east of Brewster off state Highway 17. The season runs April 1 to Sept. 30. 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. See entry with Okanogan County. Wells Reservoir — A recent state rule change allows anglers to keep triploid trout, which have escaped from Lake Rufus Woods through Chief Joseph Dam, to be kept if they include a floy tag. 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. 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. Wilmont Creek — This tiny 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.

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2011 Fishrapper, The Omak Chronicle, Omak, Wash. — Page 11

Okanogan County offers plenty for selective anglers By Al Camp The Chronicle Selective gear fish anglers could hit it big at Aeneas, Blue, Chopaka and Big Twin lakes. But a couple lakes, Little Twin and Ell, could be pretty dismal this season. Aeneas continues to be a shining star among the group with rainbows and browns. Chopaka gets better and better with rainbows up to 18 inches. It’s suspected low water on Little Twin coupled with a long winter caused winterkill in the lake near Winthrop, state Department of Fish and Wildlife Regional Fish Biologist Bob Jateff said. Lower water levels continue to plague Ell Lake east of Tonasket. Selective or fly fishing-only lakes include: Aeneas Lake — The fishing was good last year for rainbow (14 to 16 inches) and brown (10 inches) trout at this 61-acre lake located about three miles southwest of Tonasket. There is a one-fish daily limit. Use of motors, including electric, is prohibited at the fly fishing-only water. Anglers must use barbless hooks. The water level at the lake, open April 30 to Oct. 31, remains relatively stable. Car-top boats can be launched on a gravel access and toilets are available. A plateau overlooking the lake is available for camping. 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 — An aerator helps the lake during the winter and produce rainbow trout in the 12- to 18-inch

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range. The 77-acre lake south of Winthrop has a one-fish limit. Gas-operated motors are prohibited, but electric motors are allowed. Selective gear rules apply. A graveled boat access area has been improved enough to launch smaller boats. A resort — a good place to check on fishing conditions — and public access with toilets are available. 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. Big Twin’s season runs from April 30 to Oct. 31. 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. Bait is illegal. Bull trout (Dolly Varden) must be released if caught and cannot be removed from the water. Blue Lake (in the Sinlahekin) The 186-acre lake about eight miles north of Conconully continues to be one of the best in the county for rainbows and browns up to 18 inches. Selective gear rules are in effect, except electric motors are allowed. There’s a one-fish daily limit for trout. Blue is open April 30 to Oct. 31. The lake is four miles north of Fish Lake in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area. A graveled launch, campsites and toilets are available 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 past Fish Lake and go another four miles north to the lake on Sinlahekin Road. Blue Lake (near Wannacut Lake) — Fishing for Lahontan cutthroats up to 16 inches and three pounds can be expected at this 10-acre lake, a mile north of Wannacut Lake and three miles southwest of Oroville. There is a one-fish limit for trout. Blue’s season is April 30 to Oct. 31. Selective fishery regulations apply. Electric motors are allowed. Buzzard Lake — The lake, southwest of Okanogan on Buzzard Lake Road off state Highway 20, is a selective gear and one-fish limit lake with a May 1 to Oct. 31. Some camping is available. Use of gas-powered motors is prohibited. Electric-motors are allowed. Chopaka Lake — The popular 149-acre lake is located at the 2,900-foot mark on Chopaka Mountain and is reached via a rough road from Loomis. The lake, located six miles north of Loomis, has a season of April 30 to Oct. 31. Fly fishing-only is the rule at Chopaka, where rainbows enjoy a hardy diet of mayfly hatches. There is a one-trout daily limit. Use of all motors is prohibited. 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 is a small, graveled boat launch. Ell Lake — The lake east of Tonasket has not been planted for a couple years due to aeration problems and water levels of a 3-4 feet. The season is April 30 to Oct. 31. There is a one-

fish daily limit. Selective fishery regulations apply. Gasoperated motors are prohibited. 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, 124-acre lake, which is open to the public in northern Douglas County, remains a popular selective fishery for Lahontan cutthroat up to 20 inches. Grimes, which is leased by the state, has an unique season — June 1 through Aug. 31 — and is managed by Jateff with Okanogan County lakes. Selective gear rules are in effect. Internalcombustion engines are prohibited while electric motors are allowed. There is a one-fish limit. 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. Little Twin Lake — The 24-acre lake south of Winthrop has a season of April 30 through Oct. 31 for rainbows normally in the 12- to 16-inch range. A few eastern brook trout are available in the 9- to 11-inch range. “I have a strong suspicion it winterkilled,� Jateff said, who lives in the Methow Valley and can easily check the lake. “It will need a supplement to provide a decent fishery.� Catchable rainbows were planted in April prior to the opener at the selective gear lake that has a onefish limit. The lake has a state Fish and Wildlife Department access area. Little Twin lies two miles south of Winthrop with marked turnoffs from state Highway 20.

      

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Fishrapper 2011  

A complete guide to fishing North Central Washington's Okanogan and Ferry counties.

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