February 12, 2024
Action: Eulachon smelt will be open from 8:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. (5-hour period).
Rules: Daily limit is 10lbs only. Harvesters may use handheld dipnets only. It is unlawful to harvest smelt from a vessel.
Effective date: Thursday, February 15, 2024.
Species affected: Eulachon smelt.
Location: Cowlitz River, from Hwy. 432 Bridge to the Al Helenberg Memorial Boat Ramp (located approximately 1,300 feet upstream of the Hwy. 411/A Street Bridge in Castle Rock.
Reason for action: Recent commercial fisheries indicate the eulachon run size is large enough to support a recreational opening, per guidance from the 2023 Washington and Oregon Eulachon Management Plan. The recreational fishery also serves as an important opportunity to collect additional biological data.
Additional information: No license required. All smelt caught must be retained up to the daily limit. In the field, it is unlawful for each person harvesting smelt to fail to use a separate container to hold their catch and the container must be in the harvester's presence or identified with the harvester's name (per WAC 220-315-040). Violation of this subsection is an infraction, punishable under RCW 77.15.160.
Hand dip net gear may not exceed 36 inches across the bag frame with a maximum mesh size of 5/8 inch stretch mesh size and must have a rigid handle.
Information contact: Region 5 office; 360-696-6211