Springer Limits Reduced On Several SW WA Waters

Heads up that WDFW has again reduced adult hatchery spring Chinook limits on Columbia tributaries from Longview to Lyle due to a mix of low forecasts and need to meet broodstock goals, which have actually been expanded in one case.

Anglers will be able to keep only one a day on the Cowlitz, Kalama, Wind, Drano Lake and Klickitat, according to a slate of rule change notices out this week, similar to ones seen in 2021, 2020 and before in some cases.


The Cowlitz will also close after April 30 and lower Klick will only be open on select days.

“Preseason forecasts indicate a lowered adult salmon daily limit and a shortened salmon season are necessary to provide both spring Chinook angling opportunity and to meet broodstock and hatchery collection goals,” WDFW explained in its e-reg for the Cowlitz.

Still, it’s better than last year when springer fishing on the system was completely closed due to an expected run of just 1,800. This year’s forecast is for 4,100.

On the Kalama, where the forecast is 2,000, the lower limit is needed “to provide both spring Chinook angling opportunity and to meet broodstock and hatchery collection goals,” according to WDFW.

It’s the same case on the Wind, where 4,200 are expected, and on the Klickitat, where 1,800 are forecast.

The Klickitat rule change also states fishing will only be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays April 1-May 27 from the mouth to Fisher Hill Bridge.

And at Drano, managers are trying to balance a low forecast, a popular fishery and increased smolt releases.

This year’s forecast of 3,800 is the third lowest since 2000 but the Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery has been called on to support southern resident killer whale recovery and has seen its broodstock collection goal bumped up.

The new rules went into effect March 1 on the Cowlitz and Kalama, while the Drano and Wind changes take effect March 16, which is when they open.

On the Lewis, which has a forecast of 2,300, the daily limit for adult hatchery spring Chinook is set as one in the permanent regulations so it didn’t require a rule tweak.