Almost half a million trout to be released into Lake Roosevelt

Jon Sailer 4joorcqyldo Unsplash

SPOKANE, Wash. — Hundreds of thousands of rainbow trout will be released into Lake Roosevelt over the next two weeks as part of a funded program by the Bonneville Power Administration.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Spokane Tribe of Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Lake Roosevelt Net Pen Project have been partnering for more than two decades to create a destination fishery for rainbow trout in the Washington reservoir. They work together to raise fish to release into the river to make up for the loss of the fish that migrate from the rivers to spawn.

Over 475,000 rainbow trout, containing three sets of chromosomes instead of the typical two, are being held in some northeastern lakes. They will be released from the Sherman Creek Net Pens and Lake Roosevelt Volunteer Net Pens this week. These fish will grow greater than 18 inches in the coming months and weigh approximately one pound each.

Along with the trout being released in Lake Roosevelt, the Spokane Tribe will also be releasing 10,000 trout into the lower third of the lake.

“The fish stocked this month will provide fishing opportunity for the next two years as they grow and spread throughout the reservoir,” Chris Donley, Region 1 Fish Program manager, said.

The fish are coming from three hatcheries, including WDFW’s Sherman Creek Hatchery, the Spokane Tribal Hatchery, and the Lake Roosevelt Volunteer Net Pens.

“The weather is great, the scenery is great, the fishing is great – it’s never a bad day to get out and take advantage of this amazing resource of a river and fishery we have right in our backyard,” Donley said.

The WDFW works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.