Chinook Salmon, Rainbow, Brook, Brown and Cutthroat Trout, Small and Large Mouth Bass, Kokanee, Walleye, Whitefish, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Crawfish and Brown Bullhead Catfish.
From the Grand Coulee Dam north upstream to Lincoln.
Take Highway 155 north from Coulee City, Highway 174 or 21 north from Davenport to reach major access areas on the lower lake.
Campgrounds are located at Crescent Bay, Spring Canyon, Plum Point, Keller Ferry, Penix Canyon, and Hawk Creek, all of which are on the south side of the lake. Of these Crescent Bay, Spring Canyon, Keller Ferry, Jones Bay, and Hawk Creek have boat ramps. In all there are 16 boat ramps scattered along the more than 630 acres of Lake Roosevelt shoreline. Houseboat rentals are available in Keller Ferry (reservations required). On the water fuel docks can be found at Crescent Bay and Keller Ferry. A full range of services are available at Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam.
Rules and Regulations:
Fishing season is open year-round, except for sturgeon, which are closed to fishing all year. Rainbow trout, kokanee, walleye and smallmouth bass are the star attractions. Smallmouth bass are plentiful. The smallmouth bass daily limit is 10 fish, no minimum size, only one over 14 inches, the walleye daily limit is eight fish with no minimum size and no more than one over 22 inches.
The Washington Department of Health (DOH) has issued this fish consumption advisory for Lake Roosevelt due to mercury contamination: pregnant women, women of childbearing age, and children under six years of age should eat no more than two meals of walleye (8-ounce portion) a month.
Fishing Lake Roosevelt:
Cooperative net-pen rearing projects at numerous locations provide the rainbow trout fishery. The cooperative net-pen project plants approximately 750,000 catchable sized rainbow trout annually into Lake Roosevelt.
A limit of 5 Lake Roosevelt Rainbows
While kokanee are often known as “silvers”, “silver trout” “bluebacks” or “sockeyes” depending upon the region, most people think of them as a trout.
But kokanee are landlocked sockeye salmon. In most lakes and reservoirs, they’re trout sized, say a foot to a foot-and-a-half in length. But in other lakes, they grow to salmon sizes, four pounds up to seven or so.
This is an important difference. Kokanee tend to school more than trout do, and this is especially so as fall approaches. The largest fish in the lake or reservoir will be hanging together as they group in preparation for spawning.
During the final year of their life cycle, kokanee put on the feedbag, eating and growing in preparation for the rigors of the spawn. While many kokanee leave their home lake and run up streams or rivers, not all do. Some kokanee spawn on gravel beds in the lake or reservoir where there is good water circulation.
While the exact time of this spawning movement depends upon a variety of factors, it happens in the fall. And like the other species of salmon, kokanee die once they’ve finished spawning.
So how do you catch ‘em?
There are three basic ways: trolling, jigging and baitfishing. You’ll undoubtedly find variations of each, but again, these are the methods most people use.
Fishing with bait is relatively simple. Once you’ve found a concentration of kokanee or know of hotspot, it’s simply a matter of dropping the right bait down to the fish. Kokanee are plankton feeders, so they tend to be picky about what they’ll eat and what they’ll hit but there is a wide variety of natural and artificial baits that appeal to them.
Good baits are salmon eggs, shoepeg corn and occasionally worms. Maggots are a natural, especially when tipping a lure. Cocktail shrimp also are a favorite. Adding scent is a good idea as well; krill or shrimp scent is arguably the best.
When the fish are feeding near the bottom, a sliding sinker (Lindy No-Snagg) set up is the ticket. Add some kind of float to the leader to keep the bait off the bottom. A small Thill Shy Bite float is one way to approach it, but using a walleye snell float is a bit better. Or you can do what most trout fishermen do in this situation and that is use a scented mini-marshmallow to float your offering.
Kokanee will suspend well off the bottom, though, and in those situations, either a sliding Thill float or a fixed float will keep the same baits suspended in the zone.
If it’s legal, chumming is a good way to draw a school and keep them in your area until you limit. At least one company that sells salmon eggs also sells chum made from the leftover juice and eggs. Another good chum is oatmeal that has been cooked with a colored shrimp scent. While bait fishing has its followers, jigging is more fun. You can use the same rod and reel you used for fishing bait, but instead of waiting for the fish to come to you, you go to them.
Jigging for kokanee is a boat show. And it’s almost a given that the boat has a depthfinder. You scout for schools of fish, find them, anchor the boat (usually) and then lower your spoon, ice fly or lure to the level of the fish. Jigging spoons seem to be the predominant choice of lure, and why is a puzzle. Kokanee eat plankton; they don’t eat minnows, but they’ll smack a jigging spoon and fairly large ones at that.
Bass are ambush predators, which means they like to hide from their prey. With smallmouth, the rocky bottoms of Lake Roosevelt serve as ideal cover for hiding out, waiting for small fish to come sliding by. Crank baits, artificials and floating jigs work well. For the largemouth, crank baits and poppers are known to create hits.
Smallmouth and largemouth bass inhabit different areas on Lake Roosevelt based on their fishing predation habits. While young smallmouth–6 to 8 inches in length–can be found at the mouths of feeder creeks on the lake, the larger smallmouth tend to cling to deep water in the lower reservoir where the bottom is rocky and the cliffs rise up above the water for shade. Largemouth like to hunt from dense vegetation and are often found in the adjoining river basins, namely the arm of the Spokane River and the Colville River.
There are three secrets to catching walleyes (at least): fish on the bottom; fish slowly; and use night crawlers. The first two of these are the most important. Walleyes stay close to the bottom, and they don’t spend a lot of energy chasing their food. The most consistent fishing depth during daytime is 18 to 25 feet. Rocky bottoms are usually preferred, with a nearby depth change or “breakline” a desirable feature. Good catches can also be made in or around weed beds at certain times.
A good walleye rig is one that can be cast or trolled slowly along the bottom without getting hung up too often. Although not necessary, a stout wire leader 12 inches above the hook will protect the line from abrasive rocks, and will keep the walleye’s sharp teeth from cutting the line once the fish is hooked. But heavy leader may also make your offering less attractive to the fish.
Many kinds of lures, jigs, spinners and spoons will fool walleyes, with most of them being much more effective if a live night crawler is attached. Trollers will often put a worm on a stout, sharp 1/0 hook attached to a flashy spinner with a wire leader tied to a good swivel. Eighteen inches in front of the swivel they will put a small split shot that will keep a one to two-ounce barrel weight in place. Casters must use a lure that is heavy enough to sink rapidly to the bottom.
Large deep-diving plugs are also a popular and productive technique. These are usually in bright colors that will show up in the depths, and are trolled without any bait attached.
Whatever bait or lure is used, it’s important to fish very slowly. Some anglers even troll in reverse (when it is safe to do so) to get their speed down to what a walleye will chase. Once a walleye is caught, continue fishing the same area. Where there is one there will usually be more. Also make note of the bottom or “structure” and look for fish in similar habitat.
One final tip is to keep the hooks razor sharp. In addition to a mouthful of teeth, walleyes have a hard, bony palate to protect themselves from the spines of the fish they eat. A sharp hook is mandatory to getting a solid hookup
A good day’s fishing for walleyes will yield several two-to- three-pound fish on Lake Roosevelt, with an occasional fish up to ten pounds. The current state record, caught in the Columbia River below McNary Dam in April 1990, weighed 18 pounds and 12 ounces. Astute anglers know that this also means walleyes stay away from bright, sunny waters. When they have to come up to the surface or to shallow shore areas to feed or spawn, walleyes look for muddy waters or they wait and move in from dusk to dawn. This is the best time to fish for them.
Here is an old Walleye Blog on Lake Roosevelt I found:
Mike Speer was fishing by the Goat Farm area of Lake Roosevelt when he hooked this 32-inch-long, 10-pound walleye. He was trolling a perch-colored fly and a worm, nothing more, Speer said.
If you thought crawfish was something you could only find down on the bayou, you might be surprised that the shellfish is populating some lakes in our very own state.
While the majority of the lakes that have crawfish are in Eastern Washington, the species can also be found in Lake Roosevelt in northern Grant County.
According to state Department of Fish and Wildlife central district fish biologist Chris Donley, crawfish — also known as crayfish, crawdads, and freshwater lobsterettes — are right at home in lakes that have rocky shorelines or bottoms.
As with crab and shrimp, crawfish are caught with traps or pots.
“Crawfish are active at night, so set traps for overnight soaks using something oily or smelly for bait, such as fish-cleaning leftovers, chicken gizzards or even a punched-out can of cat food,” Donley said on the department’s Web site. “The best spots to sink traps are where there’s 15 to 40 feet of water and rocks or woody debris.”
Though no license is needed to catch crawfish, the season is set from May through October, with a few rules: five pots per person, a minimum size of 3 1/4 inches, and a daily limit of 10 pounds in the shell.