OLYMPIA – Washington’s Bass Week is underway through July 12.
More than 1,000 lakes statewide contain bass and many rivers also offer bass. Boats aren’t required, since some of the state’s best fishing can be done from docks or along the shoreline, said the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Locally, Palmer and Whitestone lakes are great for seeking smallmouth and largemouth bass, along with yellow perch, bluegill and crappie.
Bass aren’t the only fish that are hot this month, according to the department. Scores of lakes and streams throughout the state are open for trout and other species, while salmon fisheries are underway in Washington’s ocean waters and several marine areas of Puget Sound.
Among this month’s fishing opportunities:
-Sockeye salmon – Fish returns to the upper Columbia River are forecast to be higher than in 2019, prompting a two-fish daily limit fishery from Priest Rapids Dam to Wells Dam that began July 1.
A season opener from Wells Dam to Chief Joseph Dam begins July 16.
-Warmwater fish – Walleye fishing usually is excellent during July at Banks Lake, the reservoir between Coulee City and Electric City.
Anglers also should be able to catch smallmouth bass and a few black crappie.
-High mountain trout lakes - Many trailheads lead into the high lakes from areas around the state, and July is an excellent time to explore them.
Among Okanogan County’s high mountain lakes, the state suggests several “overabundant” lakes, where anglers are encouraged to fish.
The list includes Cooney, 7,246 feet; Cornwell, 6,954 feet; Cutthroat, 4,940 feet; Dutton (lower), 6,832 feet; Eagle (lower), 6,507 feet; Eagle (middle), 7,027 feet; Glory, 6,671 feet; Halfmoon, 6,716 feet; Martin (lower), 6,744 feet; Mosquito, 5,288 feet; No Dice, 6,545 feet; Sheep, 7,080 feet; South, 6,171 feet; South Pot 1, 6,262 feet; White (1), 6,350 feet, and White (2), 6,592 feet.
-Puget Sound salmon - July 1 marked the start of salmon fishing for many Puget Sound marine areas.
-Puget Sound crab – Puget Sound summer crab fishing season began July 2 with openings in several marine areas, and starts July 12 in marine areas 10 and 11.
-Northern pikeminnow sport reward fishery – Anglers get paid $5-$8 for each qualifying fish. Peak harvest season for the predatory fish typically is late June and early July.
The state reminds people to watch for quagga and zebra mussels, milfoil and other aquatic invasive species that can hitchhike from one water body to another on boats if they’re not cleaned, drained and dried every time after leaving the water.
More information about fishing opportunities and regulations is on the department’s website.