Public meeting in Kelso on smelt fishing

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a public meeting Wednesday, Jan. 6 in Kelso to discuss prospects for smelt fisheries on the Cowlitz River and other tributaries to the Columbia River in 2010. Read More. . .

Columbia River Spring Chinook run to triple?

SALEM, Ore. - The technical committee advising Columbia River fishery managers has released its forecast for the 2010 spring chinook run. If the fish show up as projected, the forecast of 470,000 spring chinook would be the largest return to the Columbia since 1938.

The forecasted run is up significantly from last year’s final run of 169,300 fish.
Read More. . .

WDFW accepting grant applications

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will begin accepting grant applications Dec. 1 from individuals and groups seeking financial support for volunteer projects that benefit fish and wildlife.
Read More. . .

Comment now on proposed sportfishing rules

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will accept final public input on new state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-12 during its Dec. 4-5 meeting in Olympia. The sportfishing rules hearing is scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, Dec. 5.Read More. . .

Salmon, steelhead "endorsement" required in April 2010

OLYMPIA - Starting April 1, anglers who fish for salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and its tributaries will be required to purchase a new endorsement that will help maintain and improve fishing opportunities throughout the basin.Read More. . .

Winter issue of Fish & Wildlife Planner available

The Winter 2009 issue of the Fish and Wildlife Planner is now available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/fw_planner .   This newsletter addresses issues relevant to fish and wildlife planning and is specifically meant to assist Washington's planning professionals.  Read More. . .

New hatchery & fisheries policy adopted

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today voted to adopt a new state hatchery and fishery reform policy designed to accelerate recovery of wild salmon and steelhead while also supporting sustainable fisheries.
Read More. . .

WDFW accepting comments through Dec. 1 on 2010-12 sportfishing rule proposals

OLYMPIA - There's still time for people to provide comments to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on state sportfishing rules proposed for 2010-12. WDFW will accept written comments on the proposals through Dec. 1. The proposed rules include several measures designed to protect fish and shellfish.
Read More. . .

Info from Oct. 29 public meeting now posted

The more than 40 attendees at a public meeting in Centralia Thursday night heard details about alternatives for production of hatchery salmon and steelhead for the Cowlitz River system. Pat Frazier, WDFW Region 5 Fisheries Program Manager, and Mark LaRiviere, Tacoma Power Senior Fisheries Biologist, presented the alternatives being considered by the Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee. New hatchery production levels will be part of a required update for the Fisheries and Hatchery Management Plan that is part of Tacoma Power's Cowlitz River Project License.

Audio recordings and handouts from the meeting are here.

Public Meeting Oct 29 on Cowlitz Hatchery Plan

A public meeting is scheduled for 6-8 p.m.Thursday, October 29 at Centralia College regarding plans for future Cowlitz salmon and trout hatchery production.
Read More. . .

Release Chinook upstream of Blue Creek

Anglers must release adult chinook on the Cowlitz River from Blue Creek upstream to Mill Creek. Read more...

I-5 Boat Inspections Sept. 25

OLYMPIA - As part of an ongoing effort to keep aquatic invasive species out of Washington waters, all northbound vehicles transporting watercraft past the Ridgefield weigh station on Interstate 5 will be required to stop for an inspection Friday, Sept. 25.Read More. . .

Phil Anderson new WDFW director

OLYMPIA - Phil Anderson, who has served as interim director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for more than nine months, was chosen today as the department's permanent director.
Read More. . .

2-pole fishing option starts 8/15

OLYMPIA - Recreational anglers will soon have the option of using two poles while fishing in most Washington lakes under a new law passed by the state Legislature.

Effective Aug. 15, the two-pole endorsement option will apply to the majority of the 8,000 fishing lakes, ponds and reservoirs in Washington state. Endorsements will be available Aug. 13 from authorized license dealers, listed at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm , or from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ .

Read more...

WDFW sets new licensing fees

OLYMPIA - Washington fishers and hunters will soon see several changes in recreational license fees, approved by the 2009 Legislature to help maintain state fishing and hunting opportunities.

Those changes, which include a temporary surcharge on fishing and hunting licenses, will help offset a $30 million cutback in state funding for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said Joe Stohr, the department’s deputy director.Read More. . .

Lwr. Columbia hatchery steelhead fishing OK

OLYMPIA - After a delay of nearly a month, the sport fishery for hatchery-reared steelhead on the lower Columbia River will open Friday, June 12 under an agreement reached Wednesday by fishery managers in Washington and Oregon.
Read More. . .

Morton public meeting set June 23

Progress on determining the best methods for improving collection of Upper Cowlitz River smolts and juveniles is the topic for a public meeting Tuesday, June 23 in Morton, Washington. The meeting will be 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bob Lyle Community Center, 700 Main Street.

Tacoma Power and its Fisheries Technical Committee put together a team of fish-passage and collection experts in early 2008 to identify the best methods to significantly increase the percentage of downstream smolts and juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Upper Cowlitz basin.

A final decision on which methods to use is scheduled for summer 2010.

WDFW starts mandatory boat checks

OLYMPIA - Starting Memorial Day weekend, boaters heading to Washington waterways may encounter new mandatory stops by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to check for aquatic invasive species.
Read More. . .

S. Fork Toutle opens for hatchery steelhead

Lower portions of the South Fork Toutle and Green rivers open May 23 to fishing for hatchery steelhead.

Click here to read more.

Comment on hatchery/fishery reform

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will take final public input on a proposed hatchery and fishery reform policy during its June 5-6 meeting in Olympia.
Read More. . .

Lake Scanewa Chinook fishing opens

WDF&W opened Lake Scanewa Chinook fishing today. Here is their rules posting.

Fishing closures protect upriver stocks

OLYMPIA - Fishing is now closed for salmon and steelhead on the Columbia River, but anglers are catching an increasing number of both species on tributaries flowing into the big river from Longview to Yakima.

Those fisheries remain open because they have no measurable impact on wild upriver spring chinook salmon, say state fishery managers, who have recently cut short fisheries on the Columbia and Snake rivers to further protect wild stocks listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).Read More. . .

WDF&W cuts staff, services

OLYMPIA - A $21-million reduction in state and other funding over the next two years will require the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to lay off 76 employees and curtail some public services.Read More. . .

Hatchery & fishery reform comments asked

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public input on a proposed policy that would guide modifications to state hatchery operations as well as recreational and commercial fishery management.Read More. . .

Lower Columbia steelhead fishery delayed

OLYMPIA - The lower Columbia River will remain closed to steelhead fishing until further notice to avoid the incidental catch of protected upriver spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced May 13.Read More. . .

All Lewis River Spring Chinook must be released

Click here for info about the WDFW rule change effective May 11, 2009.

Public invited to propose fisheries' rules changes

OLYMPIA - People with ideas on how to improve the state’s sportfishing rules can submit their proposals to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) through June 1.
Read More. . .

New fish separator in operation

The new fish separator at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery is in operation. Click here to view a video.

Report calls for hatchery reform

The Hatchery Scientific Research Group called for changes in the way salmon hatcheries are operated in a report submitted to Congress on Friday, March 27. Here are links to news reports. I’ll post a link to the actual report when I can find one. If you find links I should post here, please email me via the Feedback page.

The Oregonian
Seattle Times
Eugene Register-Guard

Chehalis River Basin fishing closure

A portion of the Chehalis River Basin is closed to all fishing for the remainder of the winter season.

Read more...

PFMC sets March fisheries meetings

State, tribal and federal fishery managers will meet March 8-13 in SeaTac with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) to develop options for this year's commercial and recreational ocean chinook and coho salmon fisheries. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters off the Pacific Coast.
Read More. . .

Strong Columbia coho run expected

OLYMPIA - A return of more than one million Columbia River coho salmon - the largest run since 2001 - is expected to brighten fishing prospects this year from the Washington coast to the Upper Columbia River.

Salmon forecasts also show strong coho runs to many of Washington's other coastal rivers this year, a flood of pink salmon to Puget Sound and improved hatchery fall chinook returns to the Columbia River.Read More. . .

Chinook limit reduced on Lewis, Kalama Rivers

Effective March 1, 2009 Lewis and Kalama River anglers may keep only one adult spring chinook as part of their daily salmon limit. Also, boat anglers will be allowed to use electric motors upstream from the Modrow Bridge on the Kalama River.

Click here for more info.

WDFW advises of likely job cuts

OLYMPIA-Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) managers this week are advising more than 100 employees their jobs may be eliminated to meet an expected multi-million-dollar budget shortfall.
Read More. . .

Columbia River Spring Chinook Update

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission has released an informational brochure outlining its efforts to reach agreement with Oregon on a joint catch-sharing policy for spring chinook salmon on the lower Columbia River.  Fisheries managers for both states recently set fishing seasons for March and April , but the final allocation of spring chinook between sport and commercial fisheries remains unresolved. 

See the brochure here.

March 3 meeting on 2009 salmon forecast

OLYMPIA - Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year's salmon returns and proposed fishing seasons during a public meeting here March 3.Read More. . .

Way cleared to set initial spring Chinook seasons

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission is altering its approach in its two-month stalemate with Oregon over allocating spring chinook salmon between sport and commercial fisheries on the Columbia River.Read More. . .

New sportfishing rules proposed

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting a proposed package of sportfishing rule changes for the 2009-10 season during its Feb. 6-7 meeting in Olympia.
Read More. . .

New Washington policy for Columbia Spring Chinook

OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife commission today approved a new management policy for Columbia River spring chinook salmon designed to promote conservation of wild fish while providing stability for sport and commercial fisheries.
Read More. . .

Floods damaging some hatcheries

OLYMPIA - Flooding, heavy rainfall and high winds prompted evacuation of staff from one hatchery and have damaged other Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) facilities throughout the state.
Read More. . .