The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comment on the possibility of opening Deer Lake in Stevens County to year-round fishing.

Proposal Will Expand Fishing Season Into Winter

Currently, Deer Lake is open to fishing between March 1 and November 30. Opening the lake to year-round fishing will allow additional recreation opportunities such as ice fishing, but may also negatively impact the quality of the mackinaw (lake trout) fishery. Size and number limits may be put in place to keep the fishery thriving.

The proposal was submitted as a citizen petition to the December 2023 Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting. Full details can be read on the WDFW's Deer Lake Fishing Regulations page.

A drilled hole in the ice for ice fishing; several illustrated species of fish.

Virtual Public Meeting On January 16 For Comments

WDFW is hosting a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, January 16, from 6pm to 8pm. The meeting will include a short presentation, a question-and-answer session, and time for members of the public to share their thoughts exclusively on Deer Lake. Register in advance to attend. An email will be sent to each registered participant with information on how to join the webinar.

Public comment on the proposal can also be submitted by sending an email to or by leaving a voicemail message at 855-925-2801 and entering project code #3935. Comments will be accepted until the end of the comment period on January 28, 2024. Public comment can also be provided to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on the topic at the Commission’s January meeting. The Commission is expected to make a decision on the proposal during a meeting in February.

A topographic map of Deer Lake, Washington

Deer Lake Offers Wide Variety of Species for Boat Fishing

Deer Lake is located in Stevens County, Washington, fourteen miles southeast of Chewelah and a couple miles east of Highway US-395.

Fish species include black crappie, brook trout, brown bullhead, green sunfish, kokanee, lake trout, largemouth bass, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, yellow bullhead, and yellow perch.

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