Know the rules
Just a friendly reminder March 15th marks the last day of the "upper" and the "lower" Spokane River are open to fishing. The Spokane closes to fishing in these stretches for two and half months to allow redband trout to spawn undisturbed. 2018 will be the last year however that the upper, middle, and lower Spokane River have different open dates.
For a number of years now the upper Spokane which is defined as the the Idaho Stateline downstream to Upriver Dam traditionally reopens the first Saturday of June. This opening day differs from the lower stretch which is everything essentially downstream of the Spokane Falls (downtown) down through Plese Flats which opens back up June 1. The middle stretch of the river has been open year round with no opener or closure dates. The middle is essentially the downtown area where up to Upriver Dam.
While this the basic interpretation of the rules, please note for exact rules refer to the Washington Fish & Game Regulations Pamphlet.
New rules for 2019:
Next year (2019) to simplify the confusion of what's open or closed and when, the state has decided to streamline the dates and regulations. The biggest notice will be that all three sections of the Washington side of the Spokane (upper, middle, and lower) will now fall under the statewide stream rules. These three stretches will all open the Saturday before Memorial Day weekend and three close March 15th. This still allows the redbands some piece and quiet during a critical time of the season and it does broaden the season of the Spokane by approximately two weeks more.
Rule Proposals for Sportfishing Rule Simplification 2017-2019
(348))) (293) Spokane River (Spokane County): (( (a) From SR 25 Bridge upstream to 400 feet below Little Falls Dam: (i) It is permissible to fish with two poles so long as the angler possesses a two-pole endorsement. (ii) Open year-round: (A) Kokanee: Limit 6; no more than 2 with intact adipose fins may be retained. Kokanee does not count towards the trout limit. (B) Salmon: Landlocked salmon rules apply. (C) Trout: Limit 5, it is unlawful to retain trout with an intact adipose fin. (D) Walleye: Limit 16; no size restrictions.
(b) From the Little Falls Dam to the upstream boundary of the Plese Flats Day Use Area (Riverside State Park), except Long Lake (Nine Mile Dam to Long Lake Dam): Open year-round. (i) Landlocked salmon rules apply. (ii) Trout: Limit 5; no more than 2 trout over 20 inches in length may be retained.
(c) From the upstream boundary at Plese Flats Day Use Area (Riverside State Park))) From Nine Mile Dam upstream to the (( Monroe Street Dam)) Idaho/Washington state line:
(i))) (a) Selective gear rules (( apply)).
(ii) It is unlawful to fish from a floating device equipped with an internal combustion motor. (iii))) (b) Open (( June 1)) the Saturday before Memorial Day through March 15:
- (((A) Salmon: Landlocked salmon rules apply.
- (B) Trout:
- (I) Limit one; minimum length 8 inches.
- (II) Release wild trout (only rainbow trout with a clipped adipose fin and a healed scar at the site of the clipped fin may be retained).
(d) From Monroe Street Dam upstream to Upriver Dam: (i) Open year-round. (ii) Landlocked salmon rules apply. (e) From Upriver Dam upstream to the Idaho/Washington state line: (i) Selective gear rules apply. (ii) Open the first Saturday in June through March 15. (iii) Catch and release only. (f) Unless otherwise provided in this section, all tributaries to the Spokane River (Washington waters only) are open the Saturday before Memorial Day through October 31. (349))) (c) Catch and release fishing only except daily limit 2 hatchery rainbow trout (only rainbow trout with a clipped adipose fin and a healed scar at the site of the clipped fin may be retained).