Rufus Woods Lake

Located upstream of Chief Joseph Dam, Rufus Woods Reservoir is 51 miles long.  Year round open season.  Trout daily limit is two (2) over 14 inches.  On the waters of Rufus Woods, or within designated fishing areas (DFA), which are located and marked as such on the Colville reservation shoreline, either a tribal permit or Washington State fishing license shall be acceptable.  A Washington State license is required when fishing from the Douglas County shoreline.  Walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and kokanee are also available.  There is a state park with camping and boat launching facilities, an Army Corps of Engineers access area with boat launch, along with several access areas along the Colville side of the reservoir.

Two-pole fishing is allowed

Shoreline access: Good - Shore access limited to Colville side of the reservoir and several spots on the state side just upstream from Chief Joseph Dam

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Okanogan
Acreage: 8022.50 ac.
Elevation: 950 ft.
Center: 48.115698, -119.294834
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Catchable fish plants

Release Location: RUFUS WOODS LK (DOUG)
Stock Date Species Number Released Number of Fish Per Pound Facility
Nov 3, 1998 SmallMouth Bass 113 2 COLUMBIA BASIN 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


The Kokanee fishery typically lasts from April-October before the adults leave the lake to spawn in tributaries starting in late-October and early-November. Fishing is best in the spring before they move into deeper water to avoid warming water temperatures, but they can be targeted throughout the summer in deeper offshore areas near the thermocline. There may be a slight uptick in some waters in the fall as adults return to shallower water and move near shore towards spawning tributaries.
Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Smallmouth bass

Fishing improves throughout the spring as waters warm and fish move onshore, peaking during the spawn. Summer is a slight lull though dawn/dusk hours can be very good. Catch improves in Fall as waters cool, vegetation begins to die back, and prey becomes more available. Winter is the hardest time because fish are offshore and slow moving.
Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year


Fishing peaks before and after the spawn, with the spawning period (April) being more difficult. Summer fishing is excellent, with a lull during the heat of the summer, while Fall sees an improvement as waters cool, vegetation dies back, and prey becomes more available. Winter is tougher, but still fair, since Walleye are readily caught during the winter months in deeper water.
Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year

Yellow perch

Yellow Perch can be caught year-round. Fishing is best in the summer after they finish spawning in April-May. Fish can be readily angled through the summer from both the shore and boat. Catch begins to decline in the fall as water temperatures cool and fish move offshore forcing anglers to pursue them in boats. Successful fishing for Yellow Perch in the winter involves either targeting schools in deep water from boats or through the ice.
Chart of fishing prospects throughout the calendar year