Fishing guide finds 13 poached redband trout on Spokane River

Fishing guide finds 13 poached redband trout on Spokane River

An unsettling discovery on the Spokane River has left fishing guides concerned. A local guide with Silver Bow Fly Shop found 13 poached redband trout at a takeout point near the waste water management plant Monday.

Sean Visintainer has been running Silver Bow for the last 15 years. He told KXLY4 one of his guides sent him a photo of the poached fish Monday.

“It’s very upsetting, it’s disgusting, frustrating, makes us angry,” Visintainer said. “When I got that photo, I was just shocked.”

Visintainer said the trout were filleted and left for dead — an attack on an already vulnerable population.

“If that happened all the time, that would definitely deplete the population,” Visintainer said. “When these fish are killed and taken home, poached, that’s it. So the more people do that, the worse the resource gets.”

Washington Sport Fishing Rules say it’s illegal to take home redband trout. The rules state all trout must be released on the river, other than hatchery rainbow trout.

Visintainer believes this poaching sheds a light on an upstream battle.

“We know it happens. It happens on every river to some extent, but that’s a lot of fish,” Visintainer said. “There’s rules in place to protect the fish and to protect the resource but they’re not always enforced.”

To report a poacher, contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-877-933-9847 for non-dangerous situations and 9-1-1 for dangerous instances.