Fishing in Pend Oreille County

Sharing is caring!

In this article, we’ve compiled a full listing of the best fishing spots in Pend Oreille County, which is tucked into the far northeastern corner of Washington, bordering both Idaho and Canada.

Many of the waters listed in this article are close enough for day trips north from Spokane, the main population center in this far-eastern part of Washington. Trips across the border from Idaho might also be worth your while.

Pend Oreille County is largely rural. It’s cities include Newport, the county seat, as well as Cusick, Ione, Metaline and Metaline Falls.

Additional landmarks in Pend Oreille County include the Boundary Hydroelectric Project, Sullivan Lake Loop and Crawford State Park (including the impressive Gardner Cave).

Obviously, you’ve come here for the fishing, so we’re about to get to it.

Just one more thing: When you reach the last water listed in Pend Oreille County, stick around for our “Fishing in Neighboring Counties” feature. The links you’ll see there will take you to some great fishing holes across county lines.

Bead Lake

This good-sized lake north of Newport isn’t your typical put-and-take trout lake because, in fact, trout aren’t stocked here.

But don’t worry, the lake trout, kokanee and burbot found in this 700-plus acre lake pretty much take care of themselves and are waiting for you to catch them.

There also are lots of northern pikeminnows that most anglers would rather not catch.

This is a good ice-fishing lake, particularly for the cold-loving Mackinaw and burbot.

And lake access is actually better when ice conditions are safe in the winter, when anglers on foot can fish wherever they want.

At other times of the year, bank access is somewhat limited, primarily to around the U.S. Fish and Wildlife boat launch, where parking is pretty limited.

Big Meadow Lake

This seasonal fishing lake receives young hatchery rainbow trout and fattens them into 10- to 16-inch trout.

Shoreline access is good at several spots at Big Meadow Lake, including along an earthen dam and from a fishing dock at this relatively high-elevation lake.

There are lead tackle restrictions here. See state regulations.

The approximately 80-acre lake is located west of Ione.

Boundary Reservoir

This Pend Oreille River reservoir on the Canadian border has quite a lot of different fish species, and is one place in Washington where the invasive northern pike can be caught.

There are good numbers of smallmouth bass and also largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, other warmwater fish including a few walleyes, and a modest number of trout including brown, brook, rainbow and cutthroat.

The nearly 1,600-acre reservoir has a boat launch and day-use area.

Box Canyon Reservoir

This large reservoir formed by a dam on the Pend Oreille River just north of Ione and stretching to near the Idaho border is mostly fished for a variety of warmwater species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, perch and more.

There also are multiple species of trout here, including some good-sized browns, and the possibility of rainbows, brookies, cutthroat and potentially bull trout. The latter is protected and must be released if you happen to catch one.

As with other Pend Oreille waters, the reservoir also has become home to invasive northern pike, which biologists are hoping to stop from spreading farther down into the Columbia River system. So keep all you want.

Bank fishing is somewhat scarce, so you’ll likely want to fish by boat. There are a couple launches is in the Ione area as well as camping.

Browns Lake

This is a fly fishing-only lake, but not for brown trout as the name might suggest.

Westslope cutthroat that are the main quarry here, thanks to annual plants of young fish. Rainbow trout are also available.

Thanks to catch-and-release rules, some of the trout will grow to good size.

Browns Lake is open seasonally and has some lead tackle restrictions to protect breeding loons. Motors are prohibited.

The lake is located northeast of Cusick in the Kaniksu National Forest.

Caldwell Lake

This lake southeast of Ione is stocked annually with Eastern brook trout, which provide a generally good fishing in the 15-acre spot.

Caldwell Lake is open seasonally for fishing, and brookies count in your daily limit. Gas motors are not allowed.

Carls Lake

Carls Lake, formerly called Browns Lake, is most commonly fished for triploid rainbow trout.

The seasonally open lake is in the Kaniksu National Forest.

The access may be rough, which keeps the angling pressure down and perhaps contributes to better fishing.

The lake is reached via Forest Service roads off SR-20, west of Tiger.

Conger Ponds

These two small ponds northwest of Cusick are stocked every spring with rainbow trout.

They are open seasonally, with the best fishing following the plantings. 

Cooks Lake

This lake northwest of Bead Lake is planted with rainbow trout, most of which are catchable size but also a modest number of hefty brood stock fish.

Cooks Lake is reached from Forest Service roads off Boswell Road, in the mountains of Kaniksu National Forest.

Crescent Lake

This lake barely south of the Canadian border is fished for both triploid rainbow trout and westslope cutthroat trout, both of which are planted as young fish and grow to size at the lake.

The seasonal lake, which is about 20 acres, is located north of Metaline Falls.

Davis Lake

This decent-sized lake is planted with rainbow and cutthroat trout as well as kokanee salmon.

The rainbows are often the triploid variety and are stocked in about April, so spring will certainly offer good fishing.

David Lake also has self-sustaining populations of other fish, including brook trout, largemouth bass and sunfish. Other fish you might catch in the year-round lake, which is over 100 acres, include black crappie, brown bullhead and yellow perch.

Public access with boat launch can be found on the north end of this 100 plus-acre lake.

Davis Lake is about 10 minutes south of Usk.

Deception Lake

This hike-in lake east of Ione is typically planted with rainbow trout as long as it has enough water.

This is a beautiful spot so the fish are a bonus, but you’ll do best if you pack in a float tube.

Diamond Lake

This is quite a large lake with good numbers of mostly triploid rainbows and brown trout stocked as smaller trout that need to put on a bit of weight to reach keeper status.

The lake, which is over 700 acres, also holds largemouth bass, yellow perch and bullhead catfish.

Diamond Lake is located adjacent to U.S. 2 southwest of Newport.

Public access to the shoreline is somewhat limited around the boat launch, so you’ll likely do better with a boat.

There also is a resort.

More: Diamond Lake Fishing

Fan Lake

This lake is inside Pend Oreille County but just northeast of Deer Park in Spokane County, the next lake up from Eloika Lake.

Unlike the larger Eloika, 75-acre Fan Lake is stocked with catchable triploid rainbow trout for fair spring trout fishing.

Like Eloika, there also are a mixture of warmwater fish including largemouth bass and panfish, plus some brook trout.

Shoreline access is good along the road. Internal combustion engines are not allowed.

Frater Lake

This member of the Pend Oreille chain of lakes is stocked with catchable rainbow and young westslope cutthroat trout.

Unlike other lakes in the chain, Frater Lake doesn’t always connect to its sister lakes.

There is no boat launch, but car-toppers can be launched from shore.

The seasonal fishing lake is on the north side of SR-20, southwest of Ione.

Half Moon Lake

This small alpine lake in the Kaniksu National Forest is planted with westslope cutthroat trout and also is home to brook trout.

Half Moon Lake is located northeast of Usk.

Horseshoe Lake

This year-round lake northwest of Elk is stocked with rainbow trout and also offers a wide variety of other species to catch.

For coldwater fishing, there also are lake trout and kokanee.

Warmwater species here include black crappie, largemouth bass, yellow perch, sunfish and bullhead catfish.

A boat will serve you best here as there is limited shoreline access, primarily at the boat ramp.

Lead King Lakes

These small lakes are stocked with young triploid rainbow and westslope cutthroat trout.

The lakes are open seasonally beginning in late April.

Lead King Lakes are located along Boundary Road (on the way to Boundary Dam) north of Metaline Falls.

Ledbetter Lake

This smallish lake north of Metaline is listed on recent WDFW schedules as being stocked with young triploid rainbow trout and is listed in regulations as seasonally open for fishing, although previous information suggests that it has been closed to the public in the past due to trash and vandalism.

Leo, Lake

This high-elevation lake southwest of Ione is stocked with both tiger and rainbow trout and also has somewhat small crappie, perch and sunfish.

Lake Leo is located off Highway SR-20.

There is a campground and launch on the north end of the lake. 

Little Lost Lake

This five-acre seasonal lake is modestly stocked with rainbow trout but can offer some pretty good fishing at times.

Little Lost Lake is located northwest of Ione.

Little Spokane River (forks)

This river’s East Fork feeds the Chain Lakes mentioned separately in this article and also has its own fishing for rainbow and brook trout, most of which are pan-sized or smaller.

The West Fork has the same species of trout, especially up higher, as well as some warmwater species, primarily below Horseshoe Lake.

Marshall Lake

This is a good-sized lake, nearly 200 acres, and is stocked with large numbers of cutthroat trout, including catchables and lots of smaller fish.

Marshall Lake also has largemouth bass and opens to fishing in late April.

This is another lake where a boat is your best option, as bank fishing access is limited to the boat launch area.

The lake is located northwest of Newport, on the other side of the Pend Oreille River.

Muskegon Lake

This small lake has at times been planted with westslope cutthroat trout.

The fishing rules are strict here, with selective gear and reduced harvest limits for trout.

Also known locally as Moss Keg Lake, Muskegon Lake is located southeast of Metaline Falls in Kaniksu National Forest.

Internal combustion motors are prohibited at this seasonal high-elevation lake.

Mystic Lake

Westslope cutthroat trout are planted as young fish that tend to grow somewhat slowly in this low-nutrient lake, which is located east of Usk in Kaniksu National Forest.

It is open seasonally.

There is a popular Forest Service campground and shoreline access is good around the entire lake.

Nile Lake

The brook trout can run pretty thick here, supplemented with annual stockings of catchable rainbow trout.

Nile Lake is open all year and is located southwest of Ione in the Colville National Forest.

You can launch a small boat from the shore but don’t bother with a big watercraft.

No Name Lake

This humorously named lake sits just west of Bead Lake and is primarily fished for westslope cutthroat trout, which are planted as young fish.

There also are bullhead catfish to catch in this seasonal lake.

No Name Lake is located east of Usk in Kaniksu National Forest.

A Forest Service campground is available.

Parker Lake

Parker Lake is planted annually with young rainbow trout, which are generally caught after growing into 11- to 13-inch trout.

This small seasonal lake is located north of Cusick.

Pend Oreille River

This Columbia River tributary offers a wide variety of game fish, from multiple species of trout to lots of bass and panfish.

It starts in Idaho’s Lake Pend Oreille and then flows into Washington, where it turns north through the county and enters Canada before joining the Columbia River.

Significant sections of the river are dammed into Box Canyon and Boundary reservoirs, which have similar fish species.

The river and its reservoirs have been invaded by northern pike, a species that biologists fear will eventually work its way into salmon-bearing sections of the Columbia River. They encourage anglers to keep any pike they catch.

Note the closure on Kalispel tribal lands, with special regulations for Calispel Slough.

Petit Lake

Westslope cutthroat trout are the main attraction at this small seasonal lake, located at nearly 4,000 feet in elevation.

Petit Lake is located on the northwest side of Diamond Peak, up LeClerc Creek Road from Ruby, in Kaniksu National Forest.

Internal combustion engines are prohibited. 

Priest River

Parts of this primarily Idaho river flow through remote Pend Oreille County and offer fishing for wild cutthroat and brook trout in the Kaniksu National Forest.

Sacheen Lake

This large lake of about 300 acres has a good fishery for a variety of trout, including brook, rainbow and tiger trout stocked at varying sizes that grow further in the lake.

The brookies also count toward your trout limit, by the way.

You may also catch green sunfish, yellow perch and largemouth bass at the year-round lake.

Sacheen Lake is located southwest of Newport along SR-211.

There is a public boat launch on east side, on Sacheen Terrace Drive a short drive off the highway.

There isn’t much bank access, so this is primarily a boating lake.

Cedar Creek Resort does have a fishing dock for its RV guests.

More: Sacheen Lake Fishing

Skookum Lakes

You are likely to catch both Eastern brook and rainbow trout at North Skookum.

The rainbows are stocked in good numbers and the brookies take care of themselves.

Rainbows also are planted in South Skookum Lake, which has lead tackle restrictions.

There is a state campground and a resort at North Skookum and a Forest Service campground and boat launch at South Skookum.

The lakes are located northwest of Usk at fairly high elevation in Kaniksu National Forest.

Sullivan Lake

This giant lake is best known for producing a 22-pound state record brown trout back in 1965, and it also can grow large rainbow, cutthroat and tiger trout.

The lake’s larger population of somewhat smallish kokanee offer a higher volume fishery for these tasty landlocked sockeye salmon, while also feeding the lunker trout. There might be a few brook trout as well.

A strict harvest limiting size and number of trout you can keep helps maintain Sullivan Lake’s reputation for modest numbers but trophy sizes of its trout.

Sullivan Lake also is home to burbot, also known as freshwater ling and often caught through the ice at this year-round lake.

More: Sullivan Lake Fishing

Yocum Lake

Cutthroat trout plants result in nice catches at this seasonal high-elevation lake.

There are prohibitions on most lead tackle and also on gas motors.

Yocum Lake is north of Ruby, across the Pend Oreille River up LeClerc Creek Road.

Fishing in Neighboring Counties

Stevens County: To the west, a big county well stocked with excellent lakes for trout, kokanee, bass and a variety of other gamefish.

Spokane County: to the south, although more heavily populated, this county is a reasonable drive and home to a large number of lakes filled with trout, bass, panfish and more.

Washington Resources

WDFW Fishing and Stocking Reports
WDFW Fishing Regulations
National Weather Service forecasts