Re: Good Smelt Runs
Predicted run strength for the eulachon for 2001 is moderately better than the recent 5-year average. Compared to the mid to early 80's, it is still depressed. Habitat destruction (spawning), poor ocean conditions and an increase in competition have not helped the smelt.
Last year was the first year since 1996 or 1997 that the smelt entered the Cowlitz river in large numbers. This year state managements have reacted accordingly to the increase in run strength in setting future seasons.
The only Columbia River tributary opened on the Washington side is the Cowlitz. The seasons for 2001 are every Saturday from 6am-10pm January 6, 2001 through March 31, 2001. The daily limit is still 10 pounds and increased enforcement will occur.
The commercial dipnets will be allowed in the Cowlitz weekly from 3pm Tuesday through 3am Wednesday during January 2, 2001 through March 28, 2001. All other Washington tributaries remain closed to sport or commercial smelt fishing as per permanent regulations.
The Oregon tributaries remain open as per permanent regulations.
One other note, sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River will be closed for retention from Bonneville to Buoy 10 during August 16, 2001-September 15, 2001.