Cusick is located in the Kalispel Valley, nineteen miles north of Newport along the south bank of the Pend Oreille River on State Highway 20. Cusick is surrounded by lush fields of timothy hay and expansive cattle ranges. Pine forest covers the surrounding mountains, creating panoramic views in all directions. Above this splendid valley in the surrounding foothills is the Colville National Forest with several lakes and campgrounds.
The Colville National Forest has 1.1 million acres in northeastern Washington and includes the Kettle River, Selkirk mountain ranges, and the Columbia River’s upper reaches. Residents and visitors enjoy the mountain biking, horse trails, lakes and rivers. Frater Lake, Lake Leo, Thomas Lake and Lake Ellen are opened for fishing until October 31st and Cutthroat Trout, Eastern Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout and Pumpkinseed are among the fish you can catch. Pierre Lake is a year-round open season lake with largemouth bass, black crappie, bullhead catfish, occasional kokanee, and several kinds of trout. Visitors can choose shoreline or boat fishing, Washington state fishing license is required.
The Pend Oreille River is a large tributary of the Columbia River that runs for approximately 130 miles from Washington into Idaho and the Rocky Mountains. The area is known for its scenic fishing opportunities for bluegill, catfish, largemouth bass, walleye, perch, brown trout, cutthroat, smallmouth bass, white fish and crappies. Northern pike are voracious predators that move into Washington waters from Idaho and pose a significant threat to native and game fish species.
Gillnetting in early spring has proven to be the most effective method of reducing northern pike. Fisheries biologists with the Kalispel Tribe and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife say they have reached their goals in suppressing the pike. Now it’s a matter of deciding on ways to maintain the pike at lower numbers.
If you like to fish while you paddle, the Pend Oreille River will not disappoint. There are great opportunities and success stories along the 80 mile stretch of water. Targeting the sloughs in the southern portion of the river (Cusick to Newport), anglers can expect good-sized Bass and occasionally some pike. Rainbow trout and walleye are also targeted. The tactics for fishing the Pend Oreille River are very similar to the Pend Oreille Lake since they are connected. You will find Bass in the shallow weedy coves and eddies. You will find the trout off of points and eddies of rocky areas. Perch, Pumpkin Seed and Crappie can be found in the shallow areas and where bridges cross the river by using normal techniques like worms or jig and bobber. Some local anglers enjoy Fly Fishing for Pumpkin Seed with small grasshoppers or flys of that nature.
Residents and non-residents alike must have a license to fish or shellfish in Washington waters. Everyone age 15 and older needs a fishing license. You do not need a license if you are fishing for common carp, crawfish, bullfrogs, or collecting relic shells. If you’re fishing for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, halibut, or Puget Sound Dungeness crab, your license will come with a catch record card to track your harvest. Everyone, including those younger than 15, must carry a catch record card when fishing. All catch record cards must be returned to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife by the appropriate deadline, even if you didn’t catch anything.