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

February 26, 2021

Eulachon smelt opener planned for the lower Cowlitz River

Action: Eulachon smelt will be open from 8:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. (5-hour period).

Rules: Daily limit is 10lbs only. Harvesters may use handheld dipnets only. It is unlawful to harvest smelt from a vessel.

Effective date: Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

Species affected: Eulachon smelt.

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

Reason for action: Recent research-level commercial fisheries indicate the eulachon run size is large enough to support a recreational opening. The recreational fishery also serves as an important opportunity to collect biological data to further assess the run.

Additional information: No license required. All smelt caught must be retained up to the daily limit. In the field, it is unlawful for each person harvesting smelt to fail to use a separate container to hold their catch and the container must be in the harvester's presence or identified with the harvester's name.

Hand dip net gear may not exceed 36 inches across the bag frame with a maximum mesh size of 5/8 inch stretch mesh size and must have a rigid handle.

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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