Monday, March 20, 2023

Fishtrap Lake, Spokane and Lincoln Counties, Washington

I just visited this lake and updated this lake info on 3/18/2023. This lake is 35 miles west of Spokane Washington USA just 2 miles off of Interstate 90. If you have questions or comments, please post at the bottom of this page.

Fishtrap Lake (196 acres)
This lake was named after the willow fish traps that the Indians used to catch Red Horse Suckers at its outlet creek. The lake is known for its great trout fishing. This popular Lake is great for slow boating and swimming. There is a 3-foot-high cement dam on the south end of the lake the helps keep the water level up during the hot months of the year. As with all the lakes in the Scablands the lake gets a lot of wind throughout the year so it would be a great sailing lake even though because its narrow you will be doing a lot of tacking. Also great for kayaking. Watch out for strong currents at the south end of the lake during early spring runoff when snow is melting or heavy rains. It is long and narrow at 2.2 miles long and 30' deep at its deepest. In the Fishtrap Lake area there are extensive wetlands. There are numerous trails crisscrossing the area, offering several loop hikes and access to Fishtrap Lake and Hog Canyon, wildlife viewing areas. Fishtrap Lake Resort has been on this lake since 1902. It is a private resident only resort, has no camping or day area, their launch is private. Camping is available nearby at Sprague or Williams Lakes. If you are sailing do not get too close to the resort primitive boat launch/docks due to a low hanging cable from a dock to a cliff (clearance from the water is about 8-10 ft depending on water level). There is one public launch right next to this resort that has no obstacles. One could launch a deep draft boat or sportboat/keelboat from this launch. This launch is on an incline so sailors should step their mast on as level ground as possible. There is a sign posted by the resort at the launch on this lake indicating the lake is for canoe and kayaks, however there is no official policy on this, more wishful thinking on the part of the resort people. Due to the narrow width of this lake, water skiing or high-speed boating would be hazardous to the user and others on the lake. There is a horrible public toilet at this public launch, not maintained at all, kind of falling apart. The resort restrooms are private. I would highly recommend bringing your own portable toilet. Seriously good restroom facilities are very limited in this area. If your like Buffalo, they are present on surrounding land. Call the resort about private residence opportunities 509-235-228.

I personally took my Hobie Mirage Tandem Island (TI) out on this lake on March 18, 2023. Winds were very light, so I pedaled my TI pretty much the full length of the lake to and from the launch, which took me 3.5 hours. I did get a few good short runs sailing, but the wind never lasted long. I boated right up to the cement low head dam on the south end of the lake. Was surprised the current was not stronger by the dam this time of year. Below the dam the water is always to shallow to paddle in Fishtrap Creek. Plus, the creek runs through private land and barbwire fences at times runs across the creek. By mid-summer it's likely the water will be too shallow to paddle up to the dam. The lake itself is deep throughout its length other than near the south end marsh area.
Dam on south end of lake

Directions: From Spokane go west or from Moses Lake go east on I-90 to Exit 254. Turn south after getting off the I90 exit onto Old State Highway/Sprague HWY Rd E and travel 2 miles. Turn left/east onto Fishtrap Rd. You will descend a hill and will see the lake and resort. Watch for the public launch sign, on your right/south. It can be easy to miss.
Maps: See printable below. To view a map click on and type in Fishtrap Lake, WA. Info: Visit Fishtrap Lake Resort website or call them at 509-235-2284.

1. Public Boat Launch
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel dirt combo parking lot at 3-7% grade; PATHS/TRAILS... None. Large open gravel area on either side of cement launch. Beware of deep mud on either side of the cement launch pad as you go down toward/into the water; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… 2 non accessible vault toilets, very old and not maintained. Highly recommend bringing your own portable toilet as there are very few restrooms in this area; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS…One single lane cement grated launch; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices, small gravel and mud access on either side of the cement launch; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... None; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Deep mud during wet times of the year along shoreline; Terrain: Level to about 3-7% grades; H2O/Water: Water normally murky. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to 70 degree. Very hot in the summer. High currents on south end of lake during early spring runoff or very heavy rains; Environmental Conditions: High winds and hot summer temperatures; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Sprague.

2. Fishtrap Resort Launch and Marina
This is an old and rustic private resort... Private residence opportunities 509-235-2284 . We have supplied an accessible assessment of their launch for those interested in having a residence at this rresort.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel dirt combo parking lot; PATHS/TRAILS... None. Launch pavement serves as path to docks and launch; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… One restroom in resort building. Not ADA accessible. There are private picnic areas on the grass, drinking water; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… Five docks none of which are wheeled mobility devices accessible. One gravel single lane launch. Attention there is a low hanging non-electrical cable hanging a few feet on in the lake away from the launch, which will inhibit the launch of sailboats at this launch; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; No; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Deep mud during wet times of the year along shoreline, muddy murky water. Water temperature in the summer can be around 60 to horeline; Terrain: Level to about 5% grades; H2O/Water: Water no70 degree; Environmental Conditions: High winds and hot summer temperatures. Strong currents on south end of lake during spring runoff and heavy rains; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas in town of Sprague.

Click on map to enlarge or to copy to print.

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