Got Net? Cowlitz River Open Saturday For Smelt
This is where science and recreation meet.
A five-hour-only fishery will take place this Saturday on the Cowlitz River, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
For the fourth straight year, state fishery managers approved a limited sport fishery for a portion of the river to recreational dip netting along the shore from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. from the Highway 432 Bridge upstream to the Al Helenberg Memorial Boat Ramp, located approximately 1,300 feet upstream from the Highway 411/A Street Bridge in Castle Rock.
Each dip-netter may retain 10 pounds of smelt per day, with no more than one day's limit in possession. Ten pounds is about a quarter of a five-gallon bucket. No fishing license is required to dip for smelt in Washington state.
Smelt have been listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) along the Pacific Coast, but this one day fishery is a way to gain data for biologists.
WDFW has information on the smelt and recovery efforts here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/smelt/