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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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May 25, 2018
Contact: Tom Wadsworth, 360-906-6709
Bryce Glaser, 360-906-6211 ex. 6765

Low return of spring chinook to Cowlitz River prompts WDFW
to extend no-fishing area below barrier dam

Starting June 1, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will expand the area that is closed to fishing below the Cowlitz River barrier dam to help increase the number of spring chinook arriving at the salmon hatchery.

The no-fishing zone will be extended from 100 feet to approximately 400 feet downriver from the barrier dam and posted with signs on both sides of the river until further notice. 

Tom Wadsworth, a WDFW fish biologist, said the department's plan to move the fishing boundary was prompted by spring chinook returns to the Cowlitz River that are tracking well below expectations.

Prior to the start of the season, fishery managers projected that 5,000 spring chinook would return to the Cowlitz River this year, he said.

"Expanding the area that's closed to fishing will help ensure we can meet hatchery broodstock goals, and that we can continue to move fish to the upper Cowlitz watershed to provide fishing opportunities and support reintroduction efforts," Wadsworth said. 

For areas of the Cowlitz River currently open to salmon fishing below Mayfield Dam, the daily limit remains six hatchery chinook, one of which may be an adult.

WDFW will continue to monitor spring chinook returns to the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery and provide as much fishing opportunity as possible while ensuing future hatchery production.