Discover Eastern Washington

Hills and trees reflected in a lake

Counties served: Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman

Director: Steve Pozzanghera

2315 North Discovery Place
Spokane Valley, WA 99216-1566

Telephone: 509-892-1001

Fish Washington this November

A man holds a trout he caught
John Bigley

Trout: Several year-round lakes in the region still have good fishing in November, including rainbow trout

fishing in Lake Spokane (also known as Long Lake). Sprague Lake on the Lincoln/Adams county line is also known for good rainbow catching in November.

Lake Roosevelt, the Columbia River reservoir off Grand Coulee Dam, has some of the best year-round trout fishing for anglers willing to brave a little cold weather in the fall and early winter.

In the southeast district, Blue and Spring lakes on the Wooten Wildlife Area are open year-round and are stocked prior to the opening of deer season in October so have catchable rainbows into the winter months.

Hog Canyon Lake, northeast of Sprague in Spokane County, Fourth of July Lake on the Lincoln-Adams county line just south of the town of Sprague, and Williams Lake north of Colville in Stevens County open to fishing the Friday after Thanksgiving.  

Pacific Lake in Lincoln County continues to produce nice rainbow trout, but when leaving, anglers should make sure to clean the vegetation from their boat trailers so as not spread it around.

Mixed species: Also in Stevens County, Waitts Lake is open through February, with rainbow and brown trout, largemouth bass, and yellow perch.

Eloika Lake in north Spokane County also has year-round yellow perch fishing, as well as largemouth bass, black crappie, and some brown trout.

Newman Lake in eastern Spokane County, and Silver Lake in southwest Spokane County, are also open year-round for largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, perch, plus an occasional tiger muskie.

Steelhead: Fishing for hatchery steelhead continues in southeast Washington’s Snake River. The daily catch limit is one hatchery fish. Anglers must use barbless hooks, and all steelhead with unclipped adipose fins must be immediately released unharmed.

A reminder that the Little Spokane River closes Oct.31, but will open up Dec. 1 for whitefish. Anglers should always review the current sport fishing rules pamphlet, but especially on the Little Spokane since regulations differ depending on where you fish.

Anglers should refer to the current sport fishing rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits and safety closures.

November hunting news and tips

Two mallard ducks shelter in aquatic vegetation.

Planning your hunt: Hunters should make sure to check this year’s rules in the 2018 Big Game Hunting

pamphlet or the Migratory Waterfowl & Upland Game pamphlet before heading out. WDFW’s new Hunting Prospects guide, past Game Harvest Reports and Go Hunt mapping tool can all be helpful in determining where to hunt.

There also is a browser-based, hunting regulations web map for 2018-19 hunting seasons. The web map, available on the hunting section of the webpage, provides more convenient access to Washington’s 2018-19 hunting regulations and allows hunters to find permit and general season hunts based on location, date, weapon choice and more.

Elk: Modern firearm elk hunting runs through Nov. 3. Late archery and muzzleloader elk seasons also get underway later this month in select units throughout the region. For all elk season dates, review the summary of elk hunting seasons.

The best opportunities in the region are in the southeast district of the Blue Mountains where there are more overall elk and traditionally milder winter weather. GMU 166 has had the highest success rate for general season hunters recently, but also has one of the higher densities of hunters because it is made up of mostly public lands- U.S. Forest Service and WDFW-owned lands. A portion of the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness extends into this GMU and offers backcountry hunting opportunities.

Central district elk hunting is mostly on private lands in GMUs 124, 127, and 130. However, elk appear to be expanding into new areas and harvest in GMUs 139 and 142 has been increasing in recent years. Elk are moving back and forth between Idaho and Washington, so timing and access to private lands is key. Hunters on private lands in GMU 130 have the highest success, benefitting from animals moving on and off Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge.

Northeast district elk are widely scattered in small groups in dense forestland, making them difficult to survey and to hunt. The best northeast elk hunting opportunities are in the Pend Oreille sub-herd area, which includes GMUs 113, 117, and 111.

Deer: Late modern firearm white-tailed buck deer hunting is Nov. 9 to 19 in GMUs 105, 108, 111, 113, 117, 121, and 124. Whitetail breeding usually peaks at this time, so less wary bucks are traditionally more available.

Late archery and muzzleloader deer hunting seasons also get underway toward the end of November in select units throughout the region.

Moose: Moose hunting, which is by special permit only, has been underway since October in many game management units (GMUs) and continues through November.

Wild turkey: Nothing personalizes Thanksgiving like a wild turkey on the table. Late fall wild turkey hunting runs through Dec. 31 throughout the region (GMUs 101-154 and 162-186). As usual, the big birds are abundant across most of the region.

Upland game bird:  Pheasant, quail, partridge and forest grouse hunting continues throughout the region.

Waterfowl: Duck and goose hunting is underway and is expected to improve when northern migrants drop in to boost locally-produced duck and goose numbers.

November wildlife viewing news and tips

A white-tailed buck lies in the snow

Birds: The region’s large waterways, including the Snake, Spokane, and Pend Oreille rivers, are good bets for

seeing ducks, geese and other waterbirds. Those riparian areas are also used during migration by raptors and feature some beautifully-colored trees this time of year.

Deer: With the peak of both white-tailed and mule deer breeding season (or rut) in mid-November, this is the time to view bucks asserting their dominance over other bucks or seeking does. Buck deer can be less aware of virtually everything else at this time, so viewing may be easy from a roadside. Vehicle collisions with deer also increase at this time though, not just because the deer are less wary but because the shorter days mean more people are driving after dark.

Salmon: November is the time when land-locked sockeye salmon, better known as kokanee, spawn in Pend Oreille County’s Harvey Creek. WDFW northeast district fish biologist Bill Baker says the fish can usually be seen near the bridge on the south end of Sullivan Lake, northeast of the town of Ione off Sullivan Lake Road.

Recreation and habitat projects

Heller Bar Access Area is getting improvements

The Heller Bar Access Area, located on the west bank of the Snake River in Asotin County, is popular year-round for recreational boaters, anglers, and rafters who enjoy the beautiful landscapes of southeast Washington.

Landscape view of Heller Bar Recreation Area

Along with a 25-foot wide concrete boat ramp, the Heller Bar Access Area features several camping areas and restrooms that are ADA accessible. People can also hand launch kayaks and rafts along the scenic river beach. WDFW is working to improve the access area by installing a second boat ramp this year.

The region surrounding the Snake River holds significant meaning to the indigenous people who have called these lands home for hundreds of years. WDFW is working closely with Nez Perce tribal experts and a professional archaeologist to follow a mitigation plan and ensure we are protecting cultural resources during boat ramp construction.

The mitigation plan will also address the fading connection between tribal youth and their ancestral culture and homeland. Mitigation funds provided by WDFW will create a hands-on, interactive curriculum incorporating Nez Perce land, language, culture, and traditions connected to the Heller Bar Access Area.

Meet your WDFW Regional Director: Steve Pozzanghera

Steve Pozzanghera, Eastern Region Director
Steve Pozzanghera, Eastern Region Director

Steve Pozzanghera is the Eastern Region (Region 1), Regional Director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Prior to taking the Regional Director position in Spokane, Steve served as the Department’s first Carnivore Section Manager working in the Wildlife Program in Olympia. He then became the Deputy Assistant Director of the Wildlife Program before making the move to Region 1. Steve has a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Management from West Virginia University and a Master’s degree in Wildlife Science from the University of Tennessee. Steve enjoys hunting, fishing, and preparing food to serve others – especially on a barbecue.

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