The best rule of thumb when fishing in Washington is to "know before you go," as in you had better know the latest regulations for the species you're targeting.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has changed the chinook limit on the Cowlitz River. With the change, under the daily limit of six hatchery chinook, only 1 may be an adult fish.

The change goes into effect on St. Patrick's day, March 17, until further notice.

The area affected is the Cowlitz River from the mouth to Forest Road 1270, the Cispus River, and Lake Scanewa.

WDFW says the expected estimate of 5,000 spring chinook salmon is about 70 percent below the five-year average.

Fishery managers believe 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.