THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Under the daily limit of 6 hatchery chinook, only 1 may be an adult fish in areas of the Cowlitz River and tributaries where salmon seasons are open and in Lake Scanewa.
Species affected: Chinook salmon
Effective date: March 17, 2018, until further notice.
Locations: The Cowlitz River from the mouth to Forest Road 1270, the Cispus River, and Lake Scanewa.
Reason for action: Approximately 5,000 spring chinook salmon are expected to return to the Cowlitz River in 2018, about 70 percent below the five-year average. Projections indicate that reducing the daily adult limit to one adult chinook should allow for a full season of spring chinook fishing, while providing the number of hatchery fish necessary to produce future hatchery returns to the Cowlitz. This action should also allow for fish to be transported above Cowlitz Falls Dam for an upriver fishery, and for reintroduction purposes.
Other information: State fishery managers will closely monitor Cowlitz River spring chinook returns, and will consider increasing daily limits if in-season data and hatchery returns indicate the actual run size is large enough to support additional harvest. All other permanent rules remain in effect.
Fishing rules for other waters of the lower Columbia River Basin will remain as listed in the 2017-2018 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet, unless otherwise announced. For updates, check for new emergency fishing rules at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.