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

July 27, 2017

Cowlitz River steelhead daily limit reduced

Action: The daily limit will be reduced from 3 to 2 hatchery steelhead on the Cowlitz River upstream from the Lexington Drive/Sparks Road Bridge. Additionally, anglers will no longer be required to retain hatchery steelhead.

Species affected: Steelhead

Effective date: July 31, 2017, until further notice.

Location: Cowlitz River and its tributaries from the Lexington Drive/Sparks Road Bridge to the Barrier Dam.

Reason for action: Steelhead returns to the Columbia River have been lower than expected this summer. Low returns of summer steelhead to the Cowlitz Hatchery thus far this season make it necessary to reduce the daily limit as a precautionary measure to ensure enough fish can be collected to meet the hatchery broodstock needs. Retention of hatchery steelhead will no longer be required due to the need to obtain additional fish for the hatchery program.

Other information: Daily limits may be adjusted at a later date based on updated hatchery return numbers.

Current regulations to protect upriver steelhead, which are also returning in low numbers, still apply from the Cowlitz River mouth upstream to Lexington Drive/Sparks Road Bridge. These fish are known to use the lower Cowlitz as a thermal refuge from the warmer mainstem Columbia. Those regulations are:

June 16 - Oct. 31; 1 steelhead allowed in the adult salmonid daily limit except closed to steelhead retention Aug. 1-31.

Night closure for all species.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

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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