600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
January 31, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360)902-2256
Small chinook runs limit angling in Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis rivers
VANCOUVER -- Sport fishing on the Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis rivers will be
limited this spring to protect the small number of spring chinook salmon expected to
return to spawn.
Department forecasts predict the chinook returns to the rivers will be at record
Following a public meeting to discuss options, the department has set the
- Cowlitz River -- Closes to salmon fishing March 1 from the mouth to the
Barrier Dam. In addition, the south side of the river from Mill Creek to the Barrier Dam
will close to all game fish angling from April 1 through June 15. Only 1,400 spring
chinook are expected to return when a minimum of 2,000 are needed to spawn.
- Kalama River -- Closes to salmon angling March 1 from the mouth to the
Kalama Falls Hatchery. The salmon hatchery needs 450 spring chinook to return to
spawn and only 700 are expected in this year's run, with about half spawning in the
The department will monitor the runs and may make further emergency
adjustments in the season.
- Lewis River -- Closes to salmon angling on April 16 from Johnson Creek
(located below the salmon hatchery) upstream to Merwin Dam. The lower 15 miles of
the Lewis River upstream to Johnson Creek will remain open to salmon angling from
April 16 to July 31 with a one-fish daily limit. The river from Johnson Creek upstream to
Colvin Creek (located upstream from the salmon hatchery) will close to all game fish
angling April 16 through June 15. The river is expected to have a small harvestable
surplus of chinook. The river's hatchery needs 700 fish and 2,400 chinook are expected
As previously announced, the Columbia River, from the mouth to the Interstate 5
bridge, will close to salmon angling March 11. At the same time, steelhead and shad
angling will close in the Columbia from the mouth upstream to Bonneville Dam.
Salmon angling upstream of the I-5 bridge closed Jan. 1.