Welcome to CCTFWFISHTAGS. This website was created in March of 2015 to help collect and distribute information regarding fish identification tags. In its current form, this website focuses exclusively on the resident fisheries in Rufus Woods Lake, which are managed by the Colville Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department, Resident Fisheries Division, Hatchery Subdivision. Where to Fish?

Rufus Woods Lake is an 82 km (51 mile)  long section of the upper Columbia River, impounded downstream by Chief Joseph Dam and upstream by Grand Coulee Dam. The reservoir is often termed a run-of-the-river reservoir due to its relatively low water retention times, averaging 72 hours; a result of its narrow and deep channel. Rufus Woods represents about half of the southern boundary of the CCT Reservation and separates the Reservation from Douglas County to the south. Rufus Woods Lake has been jointly managed by CCT Fish and Wildlife and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

Species known to inhabit Rufus Woods included: Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Walleye (Sander vitreus), Kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka), Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio),Tench (Tinca tinca), Burbot (Lota lota), Smallmouth Bass (Micropterus dolomieu), Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis), Northern Pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis), Longnose Sucker (Catostomus catostomus), Largescale Sucker (Catostomus macrocheilus), Bridgelip Sucker (Catostomus columbianus) and Brown Trout (Salmo trutta), but a variety of additional species may have also inhabited the reservoir based on its upstream connection to Lake Roosevelt and its tributaries.

The Rufus Woods Creel and Supplementation project has a primary goal of maintaining a subsistence fishery for Tribal members and quality sport fishery for non-members. In order to do this, the project attempts to determine a sustainable supplementation strategy that will produce the highest level of angler effort and catch rate of desirable size Rainbow Trout. The project also directly supports supplementation through the purchase of Rainbow Trout from private net pen aquaculture facilities on Rufus Woods Lake, as well as releasing some of the CCT resident fish hatchery's net pen Rainbow Trout. In order to provide information on the fishery for sustainable management, CCT initiated studies to determine creel dynamics, Rainbow Trout entrainment rates and reservoir residence times, and production potential for a put-grow-and-take Rainbow Trout fishery. The goal of the survey is to determine a stocking strategy that will provide the best management option and document trends in overall creel dynamics. 


Recent News

  • RUFUS WOODS LAKE IS THE PLACE TO BE (Nespelem, Wash. May 25, 2021) – The Colville Indian Reservation has opened and now is the time to go fishing on Rufus Woods Lake. Staff from the Colville Tribal Fish Hatchery (CTFH) released over 44,200 triploid rainbow trout into Rufus Woods Lake in early spring, and another 20,000 fish on Wednesday, May 26.  These fish averaged about two pounds each and can be identified by the absence of an adipose fin. A floy tag was affixed to approximately ...
    Posted Jun 1, 2021, 11:13 AM by cct fishtags
  • Notice to the Public: Staff from the Colville Tribes’ trout hatchery began stocking Rufus Woods Lake in March 2021 with triploid rainbow trout that averaged 5.4 pounds each and can be identified by the absence of an adipose fin.  A total of 1,550 fish were stocked in the lake during the first weeks of March. An additional stocking event into Rufus Woods Lake at the end of March added approximately 18,700 adipose clipped triploid rainbow trout that average 1.5 pounds each.   We encourage the membership to take advantage of this opportunity the hatchery is providing.  All anglers are encouraged to provide information associated with their catch (e.g., date, location, boat or shore fishing, and approximate size) to creel personnel ...
    Posted Jun 1, 2021, 10:54 AM by cct fishtags
  • 12,000+ Triploid Rainbow Trout Released in Rufus Woods The Colville Tribes Resident Fish Hatchery staff released over 12,000 triploid rainbow trout averaging almost 2 pounds each into Rufus Woods Lake between March 19, and March 26, 2019. All released fish can be identified by the absence of an adipose fin. Approximately 2,000 were also implanted with a plastic anchor tag. Anglers that catch tagged fish are encouraged to provide tag number and information related to the catch (i.e. date, location, length, and approximate size) by logging into www.cctfwfishtags.com/report-a-tag. This information assists CCT Biologists in managing annual fish releases into Rufus Woods Lake.
    Posted Apr 2, 2019, 7:32 AM by cct fishtags
  • Over 46,000 Triploids Released The Colville Tribes Resident Fish Hatchery released of over 46,000 triploid rainbow trout into Rufus Woods Lake on March 23, 2017. The fish average almost 2 pounds each and can be identified by the absence of an adipose fin. Currently, anglers have been very successful, and they are encroached to take advantage of this fishery the department has provided while it persists. Higher than expected stream flows, dam maintenance, and drawn down requirements forced Grand Coulee Dam to spill water from spill tubes which increased total dissolved gas (TGD) levels >120%. Studies have shown that TDG levels of 120% cause gas bubble trauma to Rainbow Trout which can cause approximately 20% mortality.  As TDG level and exposure time increase ...
    Posted Mar 30, 2017, 7:50 AM by cct fishtags
  • CCT Released 12,900 Triploid Rainbow Trout The Colville Confederated Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department released over 12,900 triploid Rainbow Trout into Rufus Woods Lake on February 28, 2017. The fish averaged almost two pounds each and can be identified by the absence of an adipose fin. Additionally, approximately 20% were implanted with a plastic anchor tag.
    Posted Feb 28, 2017, 5:55 PM by cct fishtags
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