Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

April 29, 2003

Chinook daily limit remains two hatchery adult fish on Lower Cowlitz

Action: Salmon anglers can continue to retain two adult chinook salmon as part of their six hatchery salmon daily limit on the Cowlitz River, from the barrier dam downstream to the mouth.

Effective date: May 1 through July 31, 2003

Species affected: Hatchery chinook and other gamefish including trout and hatchery steelhead.

Location: Cowlitz River from boundary markers at the mouth upstream to 400 feet or posted deadline below the barrier dam.

Reason for action: Under permanent regulations, the salmon daily limit would have been reduced from two adults to one adult beginning May 1. However, adequate numbers of hatchery spring chinook are anticipated to be available for additional harvest opportunity in the lower river. The pre-season forecast is 4,900 adult spring chinook returning to the Cowlitz River in 2003, and early returns to the salmon hatchery are strong, with over 1,200 fish counted to date.

Other information: Anglers are reminded that the south bank of the Cowlitz River from Mill Creek upstream to the barrier dam is closed to all fishing to reduce potential snagging from May 1 through June 15. Fishing for trout, including hatchery steelhead, other gamefish and salmon in this section of the river opens June 16.

All chinook with an intact adipose fin must be immediately released. The Cispus and upper Cowlitz rivers are open to fishing for hatchery spring chinook. Under permanent regulations, the daily limit in those areas is six hatchery salmon but no more than two adults. Spring chinook are being released into these areas for re-introduction and additional harvest opportunities.

Information contact: Wolf Dammers (360) 696-6211.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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