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Fishing resumes on area lakes

Tribal waters still closed to non-members

 

Last updated 5/7/2020 at 2:25pm

Fishermen on a boat near Northrup Point boat launch at Steamboat Rock State Park May 5, the first day fishing was allowed as the Stay Home-Stay Safe order began to relax for outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 statewide shutdown. - Scott Hunter photo

Fishing has resumed in most of the state following Gov. Jay Inslee's adjustment to his Stay Home – Stay Healthy orders. Fishing has not opened up all the way on the Colville Indian Reservation, however, as the Colville Tribes is keeping it closed to non-members until May 29.

The state opened boat launches on Banks Lake Tuesday, and anglers were on the water in the early morning.

On Lake Roosevelt, within Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, boat launches are open as water levels allow, the National Park Service said Monday.

Minimum boat launch elevations and the current lake level may be found online at gcdvisitor.com. Search for "What boat launches are available?"

Docks at Kettle Falls, Seven Bays, and Spring Canyon boat launches are available now. Other boat launch docks may become available as the lake level rises. But the Spring Canyon boat launch and docks will be closed May 11-21 for paving.

The tribal Fish and Wildlife Department said Monday that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colville Business Council has extended its closure of the reservation to visitors until midnight of May 29.

"This includes fishing for non-tribal members. The closure includes access to all boat launches, lakes, rivers and reservoirs within the exterior boundary of the reservation, which includes Lake Roosevelt and Lake Rufus Woods," a press release said.

Services at Lake Roosevelt, the NPS noted, are still limited due to COVID-19 health concerns. Fish cleaning stations will remain closed until further notice. Anglers must take fish home to clean and dispose of properly. Federal law prohibits disposing of fish remains on land or in waters within 200 feet of boat docks or swimming beaches, or within developed areas. Leaving fish remains on the shoreline attracts wildlife, including bear and cougar, putting other visitors in danger.

The following services and operations will also remain closed until further notice:

All campgrounds and toilets.

Fish cleaning stations.

Water services.

Trash collection. If you pack it in, please pack it out.

The Fort Spokane Visitor Center.

All public and education programs are canceled.

 

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