Editor’s note, March 30, 2017, 2:30 p.m.: WDFW emergency rule-change notice tacked on at bottom
WDFW is reminding anglers that due to changing regs, the Sanpoil Arm of Lake Roosevelt won’t open this Saturday.
The fishing pamphlet has the drowned mouth of the Ferry County river opening April 1, but with a Fish and Wildlife Commission decision last December, it’s been moved back to June 1 starting this season.
WITH LAKE ROOSEVELT’S TROUT FISHERY DRAWING INCREASING INTEREST, MANAGERS HAVE MOVED TO PROTECT THE RESERVOIR’S REDBAND RAINBOWS, INCLUDING CLOSING A LARGE BAY WHERE THE TROUT GATHER TO MAKE SPRING SPAWNING RUNS. THIS STRINGER OF RAINBOWS WAS PUT TOGETHER SEVERAL WINTERS AGO BY DYLAN AND GARRETT, GRANDSONS OF READER CHARLIE HISSOM. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)
That may disappoint walleye fishermen, but it was part of a set of tweaks to the rules to protect native redband rainbows in the 150-mile-long Northeast Washington reservoir.
With increasing interest in FDR’s superb trout and kokanee fisheries, state and tribal managers were concerned that with redbands already accounted for one-fifth of the rainbow harvest, according to WDFW.
The Sanpoil River is one of the spawning grounds of the unique strain of inland rainbows.
Other changes adopted last December include releasing all trout without a clipped adipose fin from Grand Coulee Dam up to the Little Dalles powerlines, but an end to the maximum number of rainbows that can be over 20 inches.
The agency stocks three-quarters of a million fin-clipped trout to support the harvest fishery on the reservoir.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE
Updates fishing rules for Lake Roosevelt,
Spokane and Sanpoil arms
Action: Updates fishing regulations in the 2016-17 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for Lake Roosevelt and the Spokane and Sanpoil Arms of the 150-mile reservoir to protect wild native redband rainbow trout.
The correct fishing regulations include:
- Sanpoil Arm (listed as Sanpoil River in the pamphlet): The Sanpoil Arm opens to fishing June 1, instead of April 1.
- Lake Roosevelt from Grand Coulee Dam to the Little Dalles power line crossing, Spokane Arm and Sanpoil Arm: Only hatchery-produced trout, marked with a clipped adipose fin, can be retained. The daily catch limit is still five trout, not including kokanee. But there is no longer a limit on how many of those fish can exceed 20 inches, as is currently indicated in the WDFW fishing rules pamphlet.
- Little Dalles power line crossing to the Canadian border: The daily catch limit is now only two trout (marked hatchery or unmarked wild), with a minimum size of 18 inches.
For the complete rule changes, see “Corrections to the pamphlet,” posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01818/2016_fishing_regulation_errata.pdf.
Reason for action: The 2016-17 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet does not reflect fishing rule changes that took effect in December 2016. Those changes, approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, are intended to further protect redband rainbow trout at Lake Roosevelt, a Columbia River reservoir in northeast Washington. Redband trout are a subspecies of rainbow trout found in the Columbia River and its tributaries.
Information Contact: Chris Donley, Regional Fish Program Manager, (509) 892-1001, ext. 307.