Tag Archives: march 1 opener

Columbia Basin’s March 1 Opener Lakes Fish Well, Surprise Catches At 1

The Lahontans of Lake Lenore have been on my mind a lot lately, and I aim to try and make a trip over to lower Grand Coulee with the boys sometime this spring.

I’ve got an idea for putting them onto the cutts in the selective-gear lake, and it involves a good ol’ red-and-white bobber.

A real big fat one that’ll make a big splash.

Also, a very small chironomid below it and reeled in as slow as 8- and 10-year-olds can be expected to.

ANGLERS TRY THEIR LUCK AT LAKE LENICE, ALONG LOWER CRAB CREEK, ON THE MARCH 1 OPENER. (MIKE SCHMUCK, WDFW)

Lenore was one of a number of lakes in Grant County that opened last week, and while the report from it wasn’t that good, not so for waters in the Quincy Lakes and Lower Crab Creek Units of the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area.

WDFW district fisheries biologist Mike Schmuck made the rounds and filed the following report, which was forwarded by his agency’s Spokane office:

Lenice Lake fished well on the opener for anglers willing to fight the rain and somewhat windy conditions.  I received reports from anglers who were very pleased with their catch rates as well as the size of the fish caught.  Fish ranged in size from 13-18 inches. Selective gear rules apply on this lake and anglers may only keep one trout per day.  Lenice was stocked with 3,000 catchable trout in October 2017 and will receive another 2,250 in April 2018.

Upper Caliche Lake produced lots of nice fish for anglers on the opener.  We interviewed 23 anglers who averaged 4.6 fish per person.  The average length of trout caught was 13 inches. Two trout caught in Lower Caliche — a lake we do not stock — were over 19 inches!  These fish likely snuck into Lower Caliche via a small, partially obstructed stream that connects the two lakes. Upper Caliche was stocked with 3,900 fingerling trout in April 2017 and 2,000 catchables in October 2017.  It is scheduled to receive another 2,000 this May.

Martha Lake is a consistent producer on opening day and this year was no exception.  46 anglers managed an average of 4.4 fish per person and these fish averaged 14 inches.  Martha Lake will continue to fish well throughout the spring and will receive 4,000 catchable trout, split between March and April.

Burke and Quincy Lakes were a bit slower than in previous years but some anglers were able to catch limits of trout.  Burke Lake catch rates were 3 fish per person and the average size was 10.5 inches. Trout in Burke Lake are struggling due to competition with yellow perch, which directly compete with trout for food.  Quincy Lake anglers caught fewer fish, on average, than other lakes — 2 fish per angler — but fish in Quincy Lake were larger than in Burke. Trout averaged 14 inches and were clearly represented by two age classes.  The 2016 carry overs were 14–17 inches, while the 2017 fingerlings were 9–12 inches. Both these lakes will receive 3,000 catchables in May 2018.

Lake Lenore and Nunnally Lake received very little fishing pressure on the opener and we have no fishing report at this time.