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

February 10, 2003

Smelt possession limits increased

Actions: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has expanded the maximum daily possession limit of smelt caught in the Columbia River and tributaries to 20 pounds.

Effective Date: February 12 through March 31, 2003. Fishing hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, seven days per week.

Species affected: Columbia River smelt (eulachon)

Location: Columbia River and tributaries downstream from Bonneville Dam

Reason for action: Significant numbers and distribution of smelt have been observed in the mainstem and several tributaries of the Columbia River. Expansion of fisheries is now warranted under the Level 3 provisions of the Washington and Oregon Eulachon Management Plan.

Other information: A Washington State fishing license is not required to participate in this fishery. Only dip nets are allowed. Only the daily bag limit has changed; fishing hours, number of fishing days per week and gear restrictions remain unchanged.

Information contact: WDFW, 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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