CCT Fish & Wildlife

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Fish and Wildlife Department.

Rufus Woods Lake

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.