Unwanted fish that are competing with popular gamefish species will be removed from Spokane County’s Fish Lake as well as Burke Lake in Grant County and Little Beaver Lake in Okanogan County under a proposal put forth by state fisheries managers.
Targeted at Fish Lake, located five miles northeast of Cheney, will be an infestation of illegally released northern pike that have taken over these waters. Before the advent of pike dominance, fish and wildlife department records show Fish produced the most recent state record tiger trout, a 14-pound specimen. Fish also receives brook trout.
In Little Beaver Lake, one of a string of lakes along the Chesaw (Oroville-Toroda Creek) Road on the Okanogan National Forest, it’s yellow perch that are competing with what once was a good crop of eastern brook trout.
Burke Lake, one of four finger lakes in western Grant County south of Quincy, is managed by the department for an annual March 1 trout fishing opener. To that end, fingerling rainbow trout are released in early fall to grow through the winter in Burke’s seep-fed waters. Unfortunately, a bevy of competing fish species is stymieing this strategy, which, by the way, is a less costly way to provide trout fisheries.
If approved by the state fish and wildlife director, rotenone will be put into the lakes this fall. Prior to the onset of the project, the department often temporarily suspends bag limits to allow anglers an opportunity to take as many fish as possible before the waters are treated.
Comments on the proposal should directed to Bruce Bolding in care of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091.
U.S. Forest Service is waiving its use fees for National Get Outdoors Day, Saturday, June 11.
That coincides with Washington’s Free Fishing Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12.
Find more details at
http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPyhQoY6BdkOyoCAGixyPg!/?ss=110605&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=stelprdb5295798&navid=110000000000000&pnavid=null&position=Not Yet Determined.Html&ttype=detail&pname=Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest- Recreation.
WSDOT crews are now separated by about 10 miles of snow-blanketed roadway in therir effort to reopen State Route 20.
As of the close of the work day Thursday, May 5, the eastside crew out of Twisp was tackling the Liberty Bell Mountain side chutes at milepost 165. located just east of Washington Pass.
The westside crew had forged their way up to milepost 155.5 about two miles west of Rainy Pass.
Eastside staff continue to work under the watchful eye of state avalanche control personnel as the Liberty Bell and several of the Cutthroat Ridge chutes still have slide-prone accumulations of snow yet to come down. The av techs report that the snowpack at Spiral Gulch has several frozen layers with new fresh amounts of snow on top. They may bring the department’s field artillery piece, a 105 millimeter wheeled Howitzer, up to punch explosive rounds into the lofty snow-filled Liberty Bell chutes to encourage them to let go.
Hard debris (rocks and wood) in avalanche piles on the highway continue to snap a lot of shear pins on the rotary blades of the snow blowers. This is a deliberate design feature that is intended to spare the blowers more severe damage, but it takes time to replace them, nonetheless.
Westside snow clearers are now working in pack depths of five feet but they report the going is easier because the snow is uniformly soft top to bottom. While one blower chugs on toward Rainy Pass, other workers are clearing slide debris including some very large boulders at the North Ruby Mountain slide near milepost 137. They also are digging out miles of clogged ditchline, essential to keeping snowmelt water off the road itself.
No due date has been given for gate openings and resumption of traffic flow between the Skagit and Methow valleys. It’s likely WSDOT supervisors will have a better feel for that target by the close of work Thursday, May 12. The highway remains closed to public motor vehicle traffic at Happy Flats (above Ross Dam) on the westslope and at Silver Star on the eastside up the road from Mazama.
Fishing was reported to be quite good on the April 30 opener at several Okanogan Lakes.
Here are opening day catch rates for four traditionally well-attended lakes in the Okanogan:
|Lake||County||Total Anglers Checked||Kept Trout||2011 Kept Trout per Angler|
Here are more opening day numbers for key Whatcom and Skagit County lakes:
|Anglers Checked||Kept Trout||2011 Kept Trout per Angler||2010 Kept Trout per Angler||Time||Boat Count||Boat Anglers||Shore Anglers|
|DISTRICT 14 AVERAGE||2.80||3.10|
While saltwater anglers will observe the last day of their off-season salmon opportunity Saturday, April 30, trout lake fishers will be celebrating the kick-off of their spring and summer season.
The winter blackmouth fishery, which focuses mainly on feeder chinook in Marine Area 7 and several other north Puget Sound management zones, closes at midnight on the last day of April, which incidently is the last effective date of the 2010-11 fishing regulations. The new regulations year begins May 1, which is why several season citations below are tentative and won’t be official until the rules are formally announced.
Northern inland waters fish and shellfish won’t be completely shut in during the 60-day closure designed to protect homing federally listed Puget Sound adult chinook salmon. PS lingcod should become fairgame May 1 (tentative), while the inland waters’ personal use hook and line halibut fishery has been formally authorized to start May 5. And a Puget Sound shrimping season start of May 7 also has been officially set.
The summer recreational salmon fishing season of 2011 in Puget Sound should open July 1 (tentative).
At midnight on the aforementioned last Saturday in April, thousands of enthusiastic freshwater anglers will be reminiscing about their first-day trouting exploits as the 2011 six-month spring/summer lake fishing season gets underway.
Lakes across Washington opening then are either stocked with thousands of rainbow and other trout species or they have sensitive naturally reproducing trout, kokanee or other gamefish. Many other Washington lakes are open year-round.
The status of one class of waters _ rivers, streams and beaver ponds _ will remain unchanged during this seasonal milestone. The vast majority of all flowing waters are closed for gamefish angling in the spring to protect young outmigrating salmon, steelhead, bull trout and cutthroat trout. Selected streams in Puget Sound as well as all other creeks (and their associated beaver ponds) and rivers open the first Saturday in June.