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Old 12-27-2000, 08:48 PM   #1
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Default Good Smelt Runs

Looks like another decent run is just a few weeks away from some predictions. We kicked butt on the cowlitz last year. Maybe the prices on smelt will finally start to come down a little? Anyone else been hearing good things?

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Old 12-28-2000, 08:14 AM   #2
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Default 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.


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Old 12-28-2000, 05:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: Good Smelt Runs

Moderately better than the five year average? The five years leading upto last season were horrible. Last year seemed, to me anyways, 100% better than the previous seasons. I started dipping around 84' to 85' and it isn't what it was then but it seemed pretty darn good. Maybe I just hit the right week?

Just a side question. What competition do smelt have? Is it with other bait fish like herring and anchovies or are you refering to spawning grounds?

Hopefully it turns out to be a great year, maybe they're under estimating the run like they did with the springers last year.
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Old 12-29-2000, 04:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Good Smelt Runs

Don't get me wrong, the smelt run of 2000 was better, but don't judge the strength of the run by what enters the Cowlitz. To many people believe the run is almost non-existant just because they don't enter the Cowlitz. They enter nearly every tributary on the lower Columbia up to the Sandy. Some years they have been observed as high as Rooster Rock! Smelt reportedly can spawn not only in the tributaries but also in the mainstem Columbia. They are broadcast spawners, so that means they don't build a nest and lay their eggs, they just let the eggs and milt go in the water collumn.

If you want more info regarding smelt, there is info available on both the WDFW and ODFW web pages. For ODFW look under fish and then action notices/fact sheets/staff reports. The latest has quite a bit of interesting info regarding smelt and their populations.


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Old 12-29-2000, 05:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Good Smelt Runs

Thanks for the info......I'll check it out.
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