The state is putting some new fishing rules in place, as an emergency, while the permanent regulations approved in March by the state Fish and Wildlife Commission will take effect May 1.
American: Trout fishing has been fair, with the best action close to shore. People are having luck fishing green or yellow Power Eggs just off the bottom. Trolling has not been productive in the past few days.
Eastside: Monday is the opener for all of the lakes on the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge, with the exception of Warden Lake, which opens April 27. Gas motors are not allowed on any refuge lakes. While most are trout lakes, Hutchinson Lake has quality crappie, bluegill and some largemouth bass up to 7 pounds.
Offut: Fishing has been fair, but it is improving as the water heats up. People are catching trout with PowerBait fished off the bottom on a 3-foot leader. Others are trolling with a Triple Teaser or Wedding Ring.
Potholes: Rainbow trout action continues for bank fisherman, who are using PowerBait, Pautzke’s eggs and other typical spring trout baits. Bass and walleye fishing is still very slow.
Roosevelt: Starting Monday, the daily walleye bag limit for Lake Roosevelt, the lower Sanpoil River and the lower Spokane River will increase to 16 fish with no size restriction. The new regulation is designed to increase harvest on an overabundant walleye populations in the lake and lower Spokane. It is hoped this will reduce walleye predation on native fish populations.
Spanaway: Trout fishing has been good, especially for larger fish. Trolling the west bank 10-15 feet down with plugs has been hooking brown trout. Some dock anglers are casting Buzz Bombs in red or pink, with a jerky retrieve, to hook some large rainbow trout. Still-fishing on the southeast side with PowerBait has produced some rainbow trout weighing up to 5 pounds.
Columbia: With lots of smelt in the river, the fishing has been on the slow side. Try methods such as back-trolling and back-bouncing in 25-40 feet of water on the outgoing tide. The fish seem to be holding deep.
Cowlitz: Fishing has been fair, but people willing to put in their time are landing a chrome-bright steelhead or two. An occasional spring chinook also is being brought to a net. Side-drifting eggs or prawns or back-trolling plugs in travel lanes have been productive.
Skagit: The river, from the mouth to Highway 536 at Mount Vernon, is open to trout fishing through April 30. Under rules for this new fishery, anglers must use hooks with a half-inch gap (approximately a size 2 hook) and follow selective gear restrictions. The minimum size to keep a trout is 14 inches, with a daily limit of two fish. Dolly Varden, also known as bull trout, must be at least 20 inches, and may be retained as part of daily limit.
Yakima: The river has been fishing fair to good for trout. Work nymphs through the pools in the morning, then look for blue wing olives and March brown hatches in the afternoon. Water levels might rise with this weekend’s warm temperatures.
North Sound: Blackmouth action has been fair for the most part, with some fish up to 16 pounds being caught in the San Juan Islands. Point No Point and Baby Island also have been producing fish. The fish seem to be keying on candlefish. This weekend is the Anacortes salmon derby, with a top prize of $15,000.
South Sound: The salmon fishing remains slow throughout the area.Contributors: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Mike Meseberg at MarDon Resort, salmonuniversity.com, Rob Sweem of R&K Guide Service, Ryan McCaughan of Riverside Guide Service, The Evening Hatch, washingtonlakes.com, Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Park Boathouse and Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort. Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure