Fishing: This is the time to fish Lake Roosevelt, including the Spokane River arm, for some of the tastiest freshwater fish – walleye. Bill Baker, WDFW northeast district fish biologist, said walleye are distributing throughout the waterway now that they’ve spawned. The daily catch limit is eight walleye and there’s no minimum size, although only one over 22 inches may be retained.
The Seven Bays area and many other spots upstream on the big reservoir are also good for kokanee and rainbow trout fishing. The daily catch limit for kokanee is six fish, although no more than two can be wild fish. The limit on trout is five, but only two over 20 inches may be retained.
With all three species of fish very catchable, it’s a good time to purchase the new $24.50 two-pole endorsement, which allows anglers to use two poles while fishing at Lake Roosevelt and many other lakes throughout the state. For more information about the endorsement, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/twopole/.
Anglers might want to consider spending a weekend camping at one of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area’s campgrounds – Evans, Fort Spokane, Gifford, Hunters, Keller Ferry, Kettle Falls and Spring Canyon. Most are on a first-come, first-served basis, but groups need to reserve camp sites. For details see http://www.nps.gov/laro/.
Baker also noted that fishing has been good at many rainbow trout lakes in the northeast district. For example, Pend Oreille County’s Big Meadow Lake, about seven miles west of Ione on the Meadow Creek Road, is yielding catches of up to 16-inch rainbows.
At the opposite end of the region, the Tucannon River impoundments are cranking out catches of hatchery-stocked rainbow trout. The Tucannon River itself, from the mouth to the Tucannon Hatchery bridge, is also open to fishing. Anglers who have purchased the new $8.75 Columbia River Salmon and Steelhead Endorsement can retain up to three hatchery-marked steelhead from the Tucannon’s open waters through October. Selective gear rules and a prohibition on internal combustion motors are in effect upstream of the Turner Road bridge at Marengo.
WDFW’s W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area Manager Kari Dingman said Tucannon lake or river anglers, and other outdoor recreationists who camp on the area, are finding everything very green and lush, thanks to recent rains. But that ample vegetation will be fuel for wild fires soon, so she reminds visitors, including Fourth-of-July holiday celebrants, to comply with the area’s restrictions on fires and a ban on fireworks. All WDFW wildlife areas and water access sites throughout the region are under the same fireworks ban and similar fire restrictions. For details by area, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/.
Anglers can get a little bit extra out of their fishing license at the Spokane Indians Baseball Club’s fifth annual “Fish and Wildlife Night” on Tuesday, July 6, when game tickets are discounted with the presentation of a valid fishing or hunting license. The game will feature fish and wildlife activities between innings and stadium fish and wildlife displays.
Hunting: Hunters who applied for special big-game hunt permits for the upcoming season can find out if they were chosen by going to the hunt page on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at www.wdfw.wa.gov/hunting/. Holders of the special permits can hunt at times and locations beyond those authorized by a general hunting license. Nearly 65,000 hunters submitted 229,761 applications for special hunts for deer, elk, mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep and wild turkey. The permits will be mailed to successful applicants in mid-July.
Wildlife viewing: Birdwatchers may spot Canada geese with new ornamentation near Sprague Lake, in Spokane County, or along the Pend Oreille River. WDFW staff and volunteers are capturing geese in these areas to mark them with white neck-collars and metal leg-bands as part of an eastern Washington study to determine if the urban geese are resident or migratory. For more details on this study, see http://bit.ly/bZ5dEo. If you see a goose wearing a white neck collar with a number and letter code, you can report it, with the location and date, to the U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Lab at 1-800-327-BAND or at http://bit.ly/djemGf.
WDFW’s W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area Manager Kari Dingman said four new bighorn sheep lambs have been seen with their ewes between Cummings Creek and Deer Lake on the Tucannon Fish Hatchery ridge. “There also have been several reports of black bear sightings on the area, and more moose sightings up around Camp Wooten and the Little Tucannon River,” she said.
Dingman says all visitors to the area are finding everything very green and lush, thanks to recent rains. But that ample vegetation will be fuel for wild fires soon, so she reminds visitors, including Fourth-of-July holiday celebrants, to comply with the area’s restrictions on fires and ban on fireworks. All WDFW wildlife areas and water access sites throughout the region are under the same fireworks ban and similar fire restrictions. For details by area, see http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/.
In Lincoln County, WDFW Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area staff and fishermen recently spotted about eight white pelicans at Z Lake. Meanwhile, colorful songbirds are visible and audible throughout the region as the nesting season is in full swing. Birders in Spokane County report black-headed grosbeaks, western bluebirds, yellow and yellow-rumped warblers, willow flycatchers, western wood-pewees, common yellowthroats, spotted towhees, Bullock’s orioles, Lazuli buntings, and northern rough-winged, violet-green, and tree swallows.