Priest Lake Fishing Info
Priest Lake is in the north-western part of Idaho Panhandle in the United States. The Priest Lake has an average depth of around 300 feet and it runs around 19 miles. It is an extraordinary destination where you can enjoy boating, fishing, hunting, and other activities.
It offers a wide variety of fishing experiences to the anglers. Anglers can explore trophy-sized Lake Trout (Mackinaw), Cutthroat, Brook trout, Bull Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and few other species. Lake Trout is predominant species and trophy-sized mackinaws are common in Priest Lake. A monster-sized Lake Trout weighing around 57.5 pounds is the current state record.
The Priest Lake native fish species include Cutthroat Fish, Bull Trout, and Mountain Whitefish.
Kokanee Salmon and Lake trout are non-native fish species that were introduced before a few decades ago. In past years, Kokanee Salmon were present in large numbers. It supported the fishery in Priest Lake before. It also served a reliable food source for Lake trout and Bull Trout making them grow in a larger size. This affected the Kokanee population to a greater extent. The Fish and Game officials tried to boost the number of Kokanee Salmon. They introduced many freshwater shrimps like Mysis in the 1970s to feed Lake Trout.
Increase in Lake Trout numbers resulted in the decline of Cutthroat fish, bull trout and Kokanee in past. However, later in 1980, Fish and Game officials manage this Priest Lake for Lake Trout Fishery. Now, Lake trout became the desirable sport fish among the anglers. A trophy-sized Lake Trout become rare and this is due to Mysis shrimps that provide insufficient nutrients to Lake Trout.
Priest Lake offers consistent fishery with good catches of Lake Trout with appropriate fishing techniques. Anglers can use downriggers, wire line, leaded line and jigging to fish Lake Trout. Stream fishing is also quite popular in creeks. Anglers can find brook trout, cutthroat and rainbow trout in these creeks.
Anglers who are above 14 years of age need to apply for a valid fishing license. Anglers should get special fishing permits for the following activities;
- Fishing for few species including Salmon and Steelhead.
- In case of fishing with 2 poles.
In the case of young children under 14, rules vary slightly for both resident and non-resident anglers. Resident anglers under 14 need to have their own fishing limit. Similarly, Non-resident anglers under 14 should accompany with someone who has a valid fishing license and permit.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission increased the fee structure for the recreational activities including fishing and hunting w.e.f. 2018. The IFGC also provide Price Lock options for the resident to avail many advantages including fee concession. Either you can go and apply for a license in any Idaho game and fish office or apply online via idfg.idaho.gov.
Fishing in Idaho is available throughout the year for few species like Catfish, panfish, Bullheads, Cisco, Whitefish, White Bass, Rough fish, etc. Few larger rivers, reservoirs, and lakes are open all over the year in Idaho. In a few smaller rivers and lakes, anglers can have a great fishing experience from May to November. However, anglers need to gain enough knowledge when you visit particular places in Idaho.