Columbia River Smelt (Eulachon)

Policy number
Effective date
Signed by
Signed by: Russ Cahill, Fish and Wildlife Commission Vice Chair

This policy provides guidance for the harvest and habitat management of Columbia River smelt (Eulachon).

Conservation Policies:

  • The Department shall maintain healthy populations of Columbia River smelt while assuring the integrity of the ecosystem and habitat upon which they depend.
  • Fishery management plans will consider the role of smelt in both the marine and the freshwater ecosystems and the need to maintain sufficient populations of smelt for proper ecosystem functioning.
  • A precautionary approach to resource management shall be utilized.
  • If insufficient information exists, or the condition of the resource is poor, a conservative approach to fisheries will be taken.
  • The Department shall consider the best scientific information available and shall strive to improve the information base for Columbia River smelt.

Harvest Policy:

  • Commercial and recreational fishing opportunity shall be maintained in the lower Columbia River, to include opportunities in both the mainstem and tributaries for both fleets.