Washington’s winter fisheries open Friday

November 22, 2018

Looking to kick the turkey hangover?

Hit the water Friday as Washington’s winter-only fisheries open.

In the Spokane area, that includes Hog Canyon, Fourth of July Lake and Hatch Lake.

While not stocked recently, fry planted in the spring should be a good size and last year’s fish are coming into their own, said Randy Osborne, a fisheries biologist with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

“Fourth of July is expected to fish well, as in most years,” he said in an email. “Recent sampling shows that the fishery continues to do well.”

That sampling showed fish ranging in size from 8 to 22 inches.

As for Hog Canyon, that lake was stocked with 10,000 7- to 8-inch rainbows and 10,000 3- to 4-inch spring fry rainbows.

“Those fish are running upward of 13 inches now,” Osborne said.

Although not a winter-only fishery, Sprague Lake is also fishing well, with fish 20 inches and larger not uncommon. Upper Twin Lake and Lake Spokane (Long Lake) are also both good options, with numerous rainbows up to 18 inches.

“Anglers should also consider spending some time fishing for the illegally stocked walleye that have taken hold out there,” Osborne said in an email. “Walleye up to 10 pounds were sampled earlier this year.”

The lake Osborne recommends above all is Pacific, which is producing rainbows in the 13- to 15-inch range.

“I went out there and sampled it, and it was just absolutely fantastic,” he said. “People really need to get out there.”

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