Photo of a person holding a Redband rainbow trout.

Public Hearing & Public Comments
The public will have an opportunity to provide testimony on the proposed change during a public meeting Thursday, June 30 at WDFW's Eastern Region office, 2315 N. Discovery Place, in Spokane Valley, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Public comments can be submitted through July 25 via email to Carmen.Perez-Frayne@dfw.wa.gov.

Lake Roosevelt redband rainbow trout
harvest proposals

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public input on proposals for changing daily catch limits for trout at Lake Roosevelt, a Columbia River reservoir in northeast Washington.

The proposed changes (listed below) are designed to provide further protection for wild redband trout, a subspecies of rainbow trout found in the Columbia River and its tributaries. However, the proposals still allow ample opportunities to harvest hatchery fish.

Lake Roosevelt is stocked annually with 750,000 triploid hatchery-marked (adipose-fin- clipped) rainbow trout as mitigation for the construction of Grand Coulee Dam.  The hatchery trout and wild redband rainbows sustain a trout fishery that produces a recreational and subsistence harvest of 35,000 to 75,000 trout annually.

Currently, anglers fishing Lake Roosevelt can keep five wild or hatchery (adipose-fin-clipped) trout per day, including no more than two that are 20 inches or larger. The Sanpoil River arm of the reservoir is closed Feb. 1 through March 31.  

The options listed below include rules for Lake Roosevelt proper and the Columbia River to the Canadian Border, the Sanpoil River Arm of Lake Roosevelt and Spokane River Arm of Lake Roosevelt.

Option 1: No Action. This option maintains the current regulation, which includes a daily limit of five trout, with no more than two over 20 inches in length. The Sanpoil River arm of the reservoir is closed Feb. 1 through March 31.  

Option 2: This option increases the daily limit in Lake Roosevelt to 10 trout with no more than one wild trout, which must be 18 inches or greater in length. The Sanpoil River arm would be closed to fishing for trout and other game fish Feb. 1 to May 31.  The Colville Confederated Tribes requested this option be put forth.

Option 3: Anglers fishing Lake Roosevelt from Grand Coulee Dam upstream to Northport Bridge have a daily limit of five hatchery trout (adipose-fin-clipped) and must release all wild trout. Anglers fishing from the Northport Bridge to Canadian border have a daily limit of two trout, with a minimum size of 18 inches.

What is a redband rainbow trout?

The Columbia River redband trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss gairdneri) is a subspecies of rainbow trout native to the Columbia River drainage east of the Cascade Mountains. Their known distribution extends upstream as far as barrier falls on the Snake, Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Kootenai rivers.

There is considerable variability in the life history of Columbia River redband trout, including fish that migrate to the ocean and those that migrate solely within fresh water.

Redband trout recently were estimated to occur in 42 percent of their historic range.  The primary threats to their long-term survival are invasive species, habitat degradation and fragmentation, and climate change.

Physical Description

Redband trout that live in streams tend to have profuse large spots over their bodies and fins (except pectoral) and frequently have an orange cutthroat mark under the jaws. They have a rosy red stripe along lateral line to brick red lateral band (especially in spawning males) and tints of yellow or orange along the ventral region. Gill covers can also be brilliant red.

Photo of a person holding a Redband rainbow trout in the water