Fish and Game is hosting three public meetings in July about the future of fishing at Priest Lake, as well as doing an anglers' survey and public opinion poll in late summer or fall.
Fishing has long been one of the main attractions on Priest Lake and Upper Priest Lake. However, fishing at these scenic lakes has changed a great deal over time.
Historically, the fishery was supported by three native sport fish, westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout, and mountain whitefish. Fishing for cutthroat was the most popular throughout the early 20th century.
Native Bull Trout and Westslope Cutthroat have been the target of Upper Priest Lake anglers throughout history. These native species continue to provide good fishing opportunity, but not without some assistance. Since the early 1990’s, non-native Lake Trout have been present in Upper Priest Lake. Lake Trout generally compete with or prey upon Bull Trout and Westslope Cutthroat. This results in weaker populations of these native species.
Priest Lake anglers can expect Kokanee fishing to be similar to what they found last year. Idaho Fish and Game Kokanee monitoring efforts suggest Kokanee numbers remain low, but the fish that are caught should be good sized (likely 14-16"). Although a small increase in Kokanee abundance was observed between 2011 and 2013 in Priest Lake, the upward trend hasn't continued in recent years.
The Lake Pend Oreille "State of the Lake" public meeting is held annually. This year the meeting is set for Thursday, March 30th. Idaho Fish and Game staff will give a presentation summarizing fisheries information and activities related to the Lake Pend Oreille fishery from the past year. Time will be provided afterwards for question and answer. Anyone interested in the Lake Pend Oreille fishery is encouraged to attend. We hope to see you there.
Meeting details are as follows:
WHEN: Thursday, March 30th, 2017 from 6-8pm
Winter certainly has been cold and snowy in the Panhandle this year. Shoveling snow and contending with slippery roads can make winter a less than pleasant time for many people. Fortunately, the winter has also provided a good ice fishing season that many anglers have gotten out and enjoyed. In fact, ice conditions this year have been better than normal. Our coldest weather is likely behind us, but ice fishing could hold up for a while if the weather cooperates. If ice fishing is something you enjoy or maybe want to give a try, consider taking advantage of the opportunity before it fad