McDowell Lake

Located about 11 miles southeast of Colville on the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge at 2300 feet elevation. This lake opens the 4th Saturday in April and runs through October 31st. Fly-fishing only and catch-and-release are the rules here, and motorized boats are prohibited. Large Rainbow Trout provide good angling in the spring and again in the fall when water temperatures are cool.

Public access is walk-in only.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Special fishing restrictions:

  • Fly fishing only for this lake

Shoreline access: Good - Shoreline access is good around much of the lake - especially from the earthen dam.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Stevens
Acreage: 10.80 ac.
Elevation: 2306 ft.
Center: 48.465029, -117.676345
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Catchable fish plants

Release Location: MCDOWELL LK (STEV)
Stock Date Species Number Released Number of Fish Per Pound Facility
Apr 20, 2021 Rainbow 1,559 1.9 COLVILLE HATCHERY
Apr 8, 2021 Rainbow 140 0.33 SPOKANE HATCHERY
Apr 30, 2018 Rainbow 900 3 FORD HATCHERY
Mar 30, 2015 Rainbow 2,000 0.5 FORD HATCHERY
Apr 17, 2007 Rainbow 100 0.28 SPOKANE HATCHERY
Apr 17, 2007 Rainbow 100 0.16 SPOKANE HATCHERY
May 15, 1995 Rainbow 108 0.167 SPOKANE HATCHERY

Fishing prospects calendar

Rainbow trout

Fishing success for Rainbow Trout is generally best in the spring when thousands of fish are stocked statewide, but they can be caught year-round in most waters with a little patience and persistence. Success remains high into June and gradually declines as water temperatures increase and fish move offshore to stay cool. Fish that escaped the spring harvest return to the nearshore areas in the fall as waters cool off. Some waters may also be stocked again in the fall further boosting catch rates.
Chart showing fishing prospects throughout the calendar year


McDowell Lake
Photo by WDFW