Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

February 21, 2017

2017 recreational smelt season set in the Cowlitz River

Action: Opens smelt fishing in the Cowlitz River.

Species affected: Eulachon smelt.

Effective dates: Open Sat. Feb. 25, 2017

Open hours: 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. (5-hour period).

Location: Cowlitz River (bank only) from the HWY 432 Bridge upstream to the Al Helenberg Memorial Boat Ramp located approximately 1,300 feet upstream of the HWY 411/A Street Bridge in Castle Rock.

Daily Limit: 10-pound daily limit. Possession limit is equal to one daily limit.

Gear: Dip net.

Reason for action: The regulations are consistent with a reduced Level One fishery as described in the "Washington and Oregon Eulachon Management Plan" for the Columbia River. Returns of eulachon to the Columbia River have improved since 2010. The modest return expected in 2017 has been substantiated by results from the ongoing research test fishery in the mainstem Columbia River. The minimal fishing season adopted is designed to be consistent with recovery of eulachon smelt. The fishery serves as an important test fishery to monitor run strength and timing and to collect biological data.

Information contact: Region 5 Office 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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