Is Washburn fishing washed-up?
By Matt Hopper
Ask any true area fisherman how this year’s been and he’ll tell you absolutely rotten. Ask the family of those same fishermen and they’ll say that they’ve barely seen their loved ones since late April. River population has been up tremendously this season due to incoming plant workers alone, although, the biting along the Missouri River can’t be hurting all that much either. Fishing is the talk of the town this summer in Washburn, and when other towns talk fishing, Washburn keeps popping up in conversations. Talk of bigger fish and plentiful walleye have perked the ears of sportsmen seeking a mammoth catch. Lack of enthusiasm on Lake Sakakawea also added to boat-trailer migration to town. No one seems to be able to place a finger on exactly why area fishing has been so consistent along the river. The season started out early for many, and although things are beginning to taper off, catching has still remained fair (although not as outstanding as earlier in the year, or so I’m told). "Flooding has had a bit of an effect," said Scott Gangl of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Gangl is the Fisheries Management section leader. "We’ve seen exceptional fishing this year. The water was murky from April into May so fishing didn’t really pick up until the first part of May. Usually, it’s good in April, but it was kind of slow, and normally, when it warms in the summer, the fish slow down a bit. This year it’s been kind of an anomaly. Things are slowing down a bit but fishing is still doing well as far as I know."