Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Time to bring home some walleye from Lake Pend Oreille

by T.J. ROSS Contributing Writer
| July 5, 2022 1:00 AM

It’s early summer, and walleye in Lake Pend Oreille are on the move along the northern shoreline of the lake. The lake water has warmed, walleye are feeding after spawning and fish are becoming more active.

Over the past month fish have moved away from known spawning areas and are beginning to occupying summer habitats. Walleye locations for June 1-17 can be found on the Idaho Department of Fish & Game's website

Please note that receivers in the Clark Fork River were not downloaded in June due to high water levels and debris flows coming downstream, making navigation difficult and potentially dangerous. Some of the fish that spawned up the Clark Fork last month have begun redistributing throughout the Clark Fork delta and nearby main lake. 

There are still plenty of walleye around the U.S. 95 Long Bridge and the railroad bridge area near Sandpoint. Some of those fish have begun spreading downstream throughout the Pend Oreille River as well as moving eastward along the northern shore of the lake. 

The number of fish detected in Kootenai Bay, Oden Bay and Kootenai Point have increased substantially from earlier this spring. Anglers should have plenty of opportunity targeting walleye in these areas now that lake levels are at full summer pool. 

The Sunnyside Point to Fisherman’s Island area continues to hold a number of walleye as well. Fishing can be great working main lake breaks as well as trolling crawler harnesses or crank-baits over the flats in these bays this time of year. 

Please continue to use caution when navigating the Clark Fork River and the rest of the lake as a number of large logs and debris entered the system during recent spring runoff. Anglers can now access Lake Pend Oreille from boat launches around the lake with water levels at full pool and the Clark Fork River starting to come back down.

Biologists track acoustic-tagged walleye to learn more about walleye movements and to help anglers effectively target walleye and participate in the Lake Pend Oreille angler incentive program.

Here is another reminder that there are plenty of $1,000 reward-tagged walleye still swimming in the waters of the Lake Pend Oreille system. Just last month two lucky anglers turned in walleye tagged with $1,000 reward tags. Since April 2019, a total of 18 walleye worth $1,000 each have been turned in and over $35,000 in monthly drawing have been distributed to walleye angler on Lake Pend Oreille.

To learn more about walleye rewards and try your hand at becoming a big winner, check out the Lake Pend Oreille angler incentive program on the Idaho Fish and Game website

If you’re interested in learning more about walleye fishing in Lake Pend Oreille, the angler incentive program and general information about walleye in the lake, Fish and Game has plenty of resources to help.

• Check out IDFG's Lake Pend Oreille fisheries webpage and watch the 2022 State of the Lake virtual meeting to learn more about the world-class fisheries in Lake Pend Oreille.

• You can also visit the Idaho Fishing Planner to get information about diverse fishing opportunities throughout the state.

Please contact the Panhandle Region office for more information at 208-769-1414 and follow IDFG on the Panhandle Region Facebook page for regular news and updates.

T.J. Ross is a regional communications manager for Idaho Department of Fish & Game.

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