OLYMPIA -- The commercial smelt fishery on the mainstem of the Columbia
River will end at 11:59 p.m. today.
The decision was made today by the Washington and Oregon departments of
Fish and Wildlife. The two agencies met via telephone as the Columbia River
The compact also decided to close the recreational smelt fishery at 11:59 p.m.
Friday. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has determined that the
smelt season also will close Friday on all Washington tributary waters.
The tributary commercial fishery closes tonight.
Today's action by the compact was taken because of low smelt numbers found
in a recent test fishery. According to biologists, smelt numbers have been poor since
1993. It is believed that ocean conditions have been responsible for the poor smelt