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

February 25, 2005

Washington tributary sport smelt dipping restricted to Cowlitz River, one day per week

Action: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is reducing the number of days and the number of Columbia River tributaries that anglers may dip for smelt from the current two days a week to one day per week, allowing dipping only on Saturdays and only in the Cowlitz River. Dipping hours remain 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the daily limit remains 10 pounds per person.

Effective date: February 25, 2005.

Species affected: Smelt.

Location: Dipping for smelt is allowed only in the Cowlitz River. Dipping for smelt is no longer allowed in the Grays, Kalama, and Lewis rivers.

Reason for action: The Columbia River smelt run size has been downgraded from Level 2 to Level 1 due to lack of significant signs of smelt in the Columbia River and tributaries as of mid-February. This modified smelt fishery regulation is consistent with Level 1 fisheries in the Washington and Oregon Eulachon Management Plan for the Columbia River and Washington tributaries. The rule is consistent with the Columbia River Joint State Hearing of February 23, 2005.

Other Information: The Columbia River remains open for dipping for smelt seven days per week with a daily possession limit of 25 pounds per person. No fishing license is required when fishing for smelt.

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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