OLYMPIA - A special fishery for anglers who use wheelchairs will open Saturday (July 7) at a new fishing site developed by Tacoma Power near the new outfall structure at the trout hatchery on the Cowlitz River.
The new fishing site, located within 100 feet of the Cowlitz Trout Hatchery outfall, is reserved for anglers who use a wheelchair. Those anglers must follow fishing rules in effect on the lower Cowlitz River.
"Anglers who use wheelchairs have limited options to go fishing," said Wolf Dammers, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "This wheel-chair accessible site, developed by Tacoma Power, will give them a great opportunity to get close to the water and catch some fish."
Summer steelhead are the best bet right now, but cutthroat trout should start moving into the area in the coming weeks, Dammers said.
When anglers in wheelchairs have a designated harvester assisting them, both must be present to fish at the new site. All other anglers are prohibited from fishing within a 100-foot radius of the hatchery outfall.
Dammers said the new fishing site is designed to replace the existing wheelchair-fishing access site on nearby Blue Creek. That site will no longer provide access to good fishing now that hatchery discharge water from Blue Creek has been rerouted to the Cowlitz River, he said.