Fishing prospects particularly limited on the Palouse


A man reels in his fishing rod in an attempt to catch fish on the Snake River in Hell’s Canyon, Idaho.

CHRIS ARNESON, Evergreen reporter

From Salmon to Snake River, many community members must travel out of Pullman or out of state to find the closest fishing hot spots.

Mark Christensen, the lead fishing guide of Salmon River Experience, a water-based travel agency established in Moscow, said that the scarcity of salmon has led to less anglers and more closures.

“The salmon season for this area has been closed temporarily, and possibly for the season,” Christensen said. “The run numbers are down at the dams, and it forced the early closure.”

Regardless of the scarcity of salmon fishing this season, Salmon River Experience will champion bass fishing as a main draw for customers, Christensen said.

“Our bass fishing will pick up soon with upwards of 30 fish per boat on the Salmon [River] and 100 fish per boat on the Snake [River],” Christensen said. “On Aug. 12, local outfitters in Riggins, [Idaho], will be hosting the first ever catch and release bass fishing tournament at Riggins City Park.”

Snake River Adventures, a travel agency from Lewiston, Idaho, offers a luxurious option for fishers on the Palouse in its charter boats that are $1,250 per day, according to their website. Customers can also opt for a larger charter boat that is priced at $1,500.

The more expensive boats allow for fishing of smallmouth bass, rainbow trout and mighty white sturgeon. Experienced fishing guides will take care of the sturgeon, which can reach sizes of over ten feet, according to the Snake River Adventures website.

Stotts Fishing Adventures, another Lewiston-based travel agency, allows for people to go on a fishing trip at a lower price. According to their website, customers can rent jet boats daily for $250 per person (two to six people). Fishers also have the option to rent drift boats at the daily rate of $250 per person (two to four people).

After at least eight hours of drift fishing, the specialized method of Stotts Fishing Adventures guides, adventurers will take home their clean and packaged batch of Clearwater River fish. Stotts’ clients need not bring a meal, as a hot barbeque lunch will be prepared by fishing guides on a shore off the river.

For ambitious day vacationers willing to drive eighty miles to Rainbow Lake in Columbia County, Camp Wooten State Park offers anglers a variety of species with an emphasis on trout, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.

Although there are a variety of chances for prospective fishers on the Palouse, individuals must cast a wide net to succeed in catching their fish of choice.