Sunday, September 25, 2022

Walleye world heating up on Lake Pend Oreille

by By T.J. Ross/IDFG Regional Communications Manager
| August 4, 2022 1:00 AM

July and August are great times to target walleye in Lake Pend Oreille. In fact, successful walleye anglers might argue they are some of the best times.

Similar to previous years, July and early August are on track to produce a lot of opportunity for anglers and a lot of walleye returned in the angler incentive program.

To help anglers target them more effectively, the locations of acoustic tagged walleye from July 14-28 are displayed in the map with this article.

At a glance, anglers may notice that the July map looks quite similar to the one from June. Some acoustic tagged fish have remained in several popular locations near the Highway 95 long bridge and the railroad bridge area near Sandpoint throughout the early summer.

That doesn’t tell the whole story though. Although the number of tagged walleye near the bridges has remained steady, a number of these fish are new to the area or have also been active along other parts of the lake’s north shore over the last two weeks.

The same is true of some of the downriver locations in the Pend Oreille River. Although some locations near Thama and Riley Creek are still home to a number of acoustic tagged walleye, some of the fish are different from those that were there last month; walleye are on the move!

The number of fish detected in Kootenai Bay, Oden Bay and off of Sunnyside have decreased slightly since early June, but a high proportion of the acoustic tagged fish are still in those areas along the north shoreline. As the shallows have heated up in recent weeks, some fish may be venturing out farther off shore where they are harder to detect.

One significant change in July fish locations is that a number of walleye have moved up the Clark Fork River and can be found from the Clark Fork Delta upstream to the Avista Boat Launch along Highway 200.

A jet boat is recommended when fishing the upper portion of the Clark Fork River, as flow below Cabinet Gorge Dam can fluctuate rapidly in a matter of minutes creating navigational hazards.

How about some lake trout!

July and August boast some of the highest fishing success for lake trout as these cold water fish can be found below the thermocline where they feed on kokanee.

Lake trout are a couple months away from spawning and there are already concentrations of them at some of the main lake points and shorelines near spawning sites. Evans Landing, Grouse Point, Windy Point and the break along the Clark Fork Delta to Sheepherder Point all had good numbers of acoustic tagged lake trout over the past two weeks.

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

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