New WDFW hunting & fishing license system is up & running

OLYMPIA – The state's new recreational license sales system became operational this week, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials say the switch from the old system went as smoothly as possible.
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December 27 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 197 coho adults, 27 jacks, six winter-run steelhead and 14 cutthroat trout in five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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December 19 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 469 coho adults, 38 jacks, three winter-run steelhead adults and one cutthroat trout in five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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WDFW prepares to launch new recreational licensing system

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will launch a new system later this month to sell fishing and hunting licenses and the Discover Pass.

"We are very excited to launch the new system," said Peter Vernie, WDFW's licensing division manager. "It will be more user-friendly than the current system and will provide a better experience for our customers and the many retailers who sell state recreation licenses."
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December 12 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,225 coho adults, 82 jacks, three fall Chinook adults, nine winter-run steelhead adults, two summer-run steelhead adults, and six cutthroat trout in five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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WDFW December Weekender Report for SW Washington

Winter steelhead: The winter steelhead fishery is up and running after drawing a cadre of stalwart anglers for the traditional Thanksgiving opening. River conditions have been up and down since then, so it's always a good idea to check the Northwest River Forecast or other sources before heading out.
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December 5 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,033 coho adults, 99 jacks, one fall Chinook adult, five summer-run steelhead adults, four winter-run steelhead adults, and 13 cutthroat trout in five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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November 28 Cowlitz Fish Reprt

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,343 coho adults, 161 jacks, 12 fall Chinook adults, 18 summer-run steelhead adults, five winter-run steelhead adult and 14 cutthroat trout in four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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November 21 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 3,030 coho adults, 249 jacks, 27 fall Chinook adults, 15 summer-run steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead adult and 27 cutthroat trout in six days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Fish Black Friday for big rainbow trout

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is offering anglers opportunities for tight lines rather than long lines on the day after Thanksgiving.

The "holiday specials" include thousands of large trout averaging 15 to 16 inches in length and weighing up to three pounds.
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Nisqually River to close to recreational fishing

Action: Close Nisqually River to recreational angling.

Effective dates: 12:01 a.m., Nov. 16, 2016.

Species affected: All species.
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November 14 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,392 coho adults, 365 jacks, 35 fall Chinook adults, one jack, 55 summer-run steelhead adults, two winter-run steelhead adult and 69 cutthroat trout in six days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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WDFW November Weekender Report for SW Washington

Columbia River salmon/steelhead: While downsized projections of this year's chinook run brought an early end to fall salmon and steelhead fishing seasons on the mainstem Columbia River, other options remain in rivers and lakes throughout the region.
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November 7 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,503 coho adults, 519 jacks, 118 fall Chinook adults, one jack, 116 summer-run steelhead adults, one winter-run steelhead adult and 172 cutthroat trout in seven days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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October 31 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 3,077 coho adults, 875 jacks, 272 fall Chinook adults, 13 jacks, 153 summer-run steelhead adults, two jacks and 52 cutthroat trout in seven days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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October 24 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 3,409 coho adults, 891 jacks, 469 fall Chinook adults, 37 jacks, 773 summer-run steelhead adults, two jacks, 58 cutthroat trout and two spring Chinook adults in seven days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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October 17 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 3,105 coho adults, 1,081 jacks, 957 fall Chinook adults, 44 jacks, 410 summer-run steelhead adults and 87 cutthroat trout in seven days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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WDFW October Weekender Report for SW Washington

Columbia River salmon/steelhead: The bulk of this year's Columbia River fall chinook run has now moved past Bonneville Dam, invigorating fisheries at Drano Lake, the Klickitat River and farther upstream. But there are still opportunities to catch some nice fish in the lower Columbia River, said Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist based in Vancouver.
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October 10 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,162 coho adults, 1,194 jacks, 1,013 fall Chinook adults, 46 jacks, 221 summer-run steelhead adults, 64 cutthroat trout, two spring Chinook adults in six days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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October 3 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,433 coho adults, 935 jacks, 852 fall Chinook adults, 44 jacks, 156 summer-run steelhead adults, 25 cutthroat trout, 15 spring Chinook adults and two jacks in five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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September 26 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 951 coho adults, 587 jacks, 750 fall Chinook adults, 37 jacks, 190 summer-run steelhead adults, 33 cutthroat trout, and 23 spring Chinook adults and in five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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September 19 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 761 fall Chinook adults, 54 jacks, 672 coho adults, 464 jacks, 292 summer-run steelhead adults, 50 spring Chinook adults, 1 jack, 1 mini-jack and 34 cutthroat trout in five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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September 12 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 371 fall Chinook adults, 24 jacks, 215 summer-run steelhead adults, 105 spring Chinook adults, 13 jacks, 12 mini-jacks, 83 coho adults, 36 jacks and seven cutthroat trout in four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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September 6 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 264 summer-run steelhead adults, 248 spring Chinook adults, 27 jacks, 11 mini-jacks, 151 fall Chinook adults, nine jacks, three cutthroat trout, five coho adult and one coho jack during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Small sanctuary created around the fish release site on the Tilton River

Action: The Tilton River (Lewis County) will be closed to all fishing from posted markers 25 feet downstream to 25 feet upstream of the fish release site ramp at Gus Backstrom Park.

Effective dates: Sept. 3, 2016, until further notice.

Species affected: All species including salmon.
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WDFW September Weekender Report for SW Washington

Fall chinook season: The fall season shifts to a new phase in September as anglers pursue salmon and steelhead further up the Columbia River and its tributaries. Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist, described fishing in August as "challenging – good one day and slow the next." Even so, more fall chinook salmon passed Bonneville Dam by the end of last month than almost any other year since at least 1938.
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August 29 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 349 summer-run steelhead adults, 213 spring Chinook adults, 26 jacks, 11 mini-jacks, 87 fall Chinook adults, seven jacks, five cutthroat trout, one coho adult and one coho jack during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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August 22 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 534 summer-run steelhead adults, 217 spring Chinook adults, 32 jacks, 41 mini-jacks, 21 fall Chinook adults, three jacks, five cutthroat trout, and one coho adult during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Elwha, Nisqually rivers designated gene banks to protect wild steelhead

OLYMPIA –The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today designated the Nisqually and Elwha rivers as wild steelhead gene banks to help conserve wild steelhead populations.
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August 15 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 95 spring Chinook adults, 32 jacks, 20 mini-jacks, seven fall Chinook adults, one jack, 584 summer-run steelhead adults and six cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Commission approves new combination licenses for anglers

OLYMPIA – Washington sport anglers soon will have two new options for fishing licenses after action taken by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its August meeting.
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August 8 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 175 spring Chinook adults, 47 jacks, 34 mini-jacks, eight fall Chinook adults, five jacks, 958 summer-run steelhead adults and six cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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August 1 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 346 spring Chinook adults, 89 jacks, 80 mini-jacks, five fall Chinook adults, 962 summer-run steelhead adults and nine cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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July 25 Cowlitz Fish Report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 425 spring Chinook adults, 86 jacks, 32 mini-jacks, 797 summer-run steelhead adults and two cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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July 18 Cowlitz fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 391 spring Chinook adults, 91 jacks, 64 mini-jacks, 763 summer-run steelhead adults and three cutthroat trout during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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July 11 Cowlitz fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 661 spring Chinook adults, 171 jacks, 70 mini-jacks and 651 summer-run steelhead adults during four days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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July 5 Cowlitz fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 302 spring Chinook adults, 95 jacks, 18 mini-jacks and 300 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.Read More. . .

WDFW offers mid-season upgrades to fishing licenses

Olympia – From now through September, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is offering current freshwater or saltwater fishing license holders the opportunity to upgrade to a combination license for under $28.
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July WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Summer salmon fishing: The fishery for summer chinook salmon, sockeye salmon and steelhead continues through July 31 on the mainstem Columbia River from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the Hwy. 395 Bridge in Pasco. Anglers can keep any sockeye they catch, but only hatchery-raised chinook and steelhead with a clipped adipose fin may be retained.
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Ocean sports fishery opens July 1

OLYMPIA – Anglers can reel in salmon off the Washington coast beginning July 1, when the ocean sport fishery gets underway daily in all four marine areas.
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June 27 Cowlitz fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 229 spring Chinook adults, 55 jacks, eight mini-jacks, 246 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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June 13 Cowlitz fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 517 spring Chinook adults, 201 jacks, seven winter-run steelhead adults, 131 summer-run steelhead adults and one cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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June 6 Cowlitz fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 333 spring Chinook adults, 137 jacks, three winter-run steelhead adults and 91 summer-run steelhead adults during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Anglers can fish for free June 11-12

OLYMPIA – Each year, thousands of Washingtonians go fishing – legally – without a license on "Free Fishing Weekend," scheduled for June 11-12.

During those two days, no license will be required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington state. Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at any of the nearly 700 water-access sites maintained by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
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July 9 Merwin hatchery event for kids with special needs

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Children with disabilities will have a chance to reel in some big trout during a special fishing event July 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Merwin Fish Hatchery, east of Woodland.
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June WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Free fishing weekend: Would-be anglers who don't have a fishing license but would like to give it a try will get their chance June 11-12 during Free Fishing Weekend. No license is required to fish state waters open to fishing those days. On other days, anglers age 15 and older must have a valid 2016-17 fishing license to participate in any of the following fisheries.
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May 31 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 955 spring Chinook adults, 239 jacks, 35 winter-run steelhead adults and 95 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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May 23 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 743 spring Chinook adults, 168 jacks, 79 winter-run steelhead adults and 34 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Tacoma Power announces May 18 Cowlitz Fisheries Public Meeting

Monday, May 16-- Tacoma Power, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Cowlitz Fisheries Technical Committee will host a public meeting about Cowlitz River fisheries and hatchery programs from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 19.

The meeting will take place at Centralia College’s Walton Science Center, Room 121 (620 Centralia College Blvd.).Read More. . .

May 16 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,914 spring Chinook adults, 374 jacks, 290 winter-run steelhead adults, 32 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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May 9 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,358 spring Chinook adults, 91 jacks, 395 winter-run steelhead adults, 17 summer-run steelhead adults, and one cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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May WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Columbia River salmon: The spring chinook fishery is closed below Bonneville Dam, where the count of fish up the fish ladders will determine whether or not the season will be extended this month. The closure includes fishing for salmon, steelhead and shad in the 145-mile section of the Columbia River downstream from the dam.
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May 2 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 793 spring Chinook adults, 47 jacks, 493 winter-run steelhead adults, and nine summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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April 25 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,291 spring Chinook adults, 58 jacks, 610 winter-run steelhead adults, and one summer-run steelhead adult during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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April 18 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 932 spring Chinook adults, 30 jacks, and 550 winter-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Chehalis River spring chinook fishery opens

Chehalis River spring chinook fishery opens April 16

Action: Opens Chehalis River to spring chinook fishing.

Effective dates: 12:01 a.m. April 16 through 11:59 p.m. June 30, 2016.
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April 11 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,230 spring Chinook adults, 25 jacks, and 621 winter-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Small sanctuary created on upper Cowlitz River

Action: The upper Cowlitz River from the Skate Creek (Franklin) Bridge in Packwood downstream 50 feet will be closed to all fishing.

Effective dates: April 9, 2016, until further notice.
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Spring chinook fishery closes on lower Columbia

OLYMPIA – The first phase of the popular sport fishery for spring chinook salmon on the lower Columbia River will close at the end of the day Friday, April 8, one day earlier than previously expected.
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Hundreds of lowland lakes open April 23

OLYMPIA–Trout fishing in Washington reaches full speed April 23, when several hundred lowland lakes – stocked with millions of fish – open for a six-month season.

That date also marks the start of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) first lowland lake fishing derby, which runs through Sept. 6.
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Chehalis Basin restoration projects support migrating fish

OLYMPIA -- Public and non-profit organizations in Grays Harbor, Lewis, and Thurston counties are receiving about $6 million in state grants this spring for 28 habitat restoration projects in the Chehalis River Basin.
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April 4 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 700 winter-run steelhead adults, 900 spring Chinook adults, 27 jacks and one cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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April WDFW Weekender Report for SW Washington

Columbia River spring chinook: Catch rates are picking up right on schedule as thousands of spring chinook continue to move into the big river. Boat anglers fared best in March, but the bank fishery is expected to pick up this month – especially near Bonneville Dam – as more springers move upriver.

"The size of the fish has been impressive with several springers in the mid-20 to 30-pound range observed in the creel," said Joe Hymer, a WDFW fish biologist.
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Steelhead license plates coming

OLYMPIA – Gov. Jay Inslee has signed legislation that will help fund efforts to conserve wild steelhead populations in Washington through the sale of license plates featuring an image of the state’s iconic fish in the background.

Senate Bill 6200, requested by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), was supported by conservationists and fishing enthusiasts.
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March 28 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 312 winter-run steelhead adults, 196 spring Chinook adults, and two spring Chinook jacks during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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March 21 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 277 winter-run steelhead adults, 77 spring Chinook adults, and one spring Chinook jack during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Fishery managers consider closing ocean salmon seasons

OLYMPIA – Poor forecasts for returning coho salmon are prompting state and tribal fishery managers to consider closing all salmon fisheries in Washington’s ocean waters this year as part of a federal season-setting process for the west coast.
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March 14 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 346 winter-run steelhead adults and 24 spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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March 7 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 226 winter-run steelhead adults and five spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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WDFW March Weekender Report of SW Washington

Columbia River spring chinook: A boat angler fishing the lower Columbia River caught the first spring chinook salmon of the season in early February. Plenty more will be caught in the weeks ahead as the region's first major salmon fishery of the year picks up speed.

Anglers fishing downriver from Bonneville Dam may retain one marked, hatchery-reared adult spring chinook as part of their daily catch limit through April 9. The fishery will be open to both boat and bank anglers upriver to Beacon Rock and – for bank anglers only – from there upriver to the fishing boundary just below the dam.
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Low returns of coho may hamper salmon fisheries

OLYMPIA – Another decent return of hatchery chinook salmon to the Columbia River is forecast this year, but expected low returns of coho could put a damper on salmon fisheries in the river, along the coast and in Puget Sound.

Forecasts for chinook, coho, sockeye and chum salmon, which were developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and treaty tribes, were released today at a public meeting in Olympia.
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Spring Chinook must be released on Lewis River

Action: Anglers must release all chinook salmon.

Species affected: Chinook salmon.

Effective date: March 10, 2016 until further notice.
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Daily spring Chinook salmon limit increased on Kalama River

Action: Kalama River anglers may keep up to 2 hatchery adult spring chinook beginning Saturday, March 10.

Effective date: March 10, 2016 until further notice.
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February 29 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 112 winter-run steelhead adults and four spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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February 22 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 164 winter-run steelhead adults, five coho adults, and two spring Chinook adults during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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February 16 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 79 winter-run steelhead adults and two spring Chinook adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Public meeting on salmon forecast set for March 1

OLYMPIA – Anglers, commercial fishers and others interested in Washington state salmon fisheries can get a preview of this year's salmon returns and potential fishing seasons during a public meeting March 1 in Olympia.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will present initial forecasts – compiled by state and tribal biologists – of 2016 salmon returns.

The department has scheduled the meeting from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the auditorium of General Administration Building, 210 11th St. SW, in Olympia.

Parking is available in the visitor lot of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. SE, which is a short walk to the General Administration Building.
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February 8 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power had a two day maintenance shutdown for the fish ladder at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery. In the three days of operation, Tacoma Power employees recovered three coho adults, 14 winter-run steelhead adults and one cutthroat trout.
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February Southwest Washington Weekender Report

Winter steelhead: Anglers are still reeling in hatchery steelhead from area tributaries, notably the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers. The daily limit for adult steelhead on most area rivers is three marked, hatchery-reared fish. Barbless hooks are required, and any steelhead with an intact adipose fin must be released. In addition, anglers must keep the first three hatchery steelhead they catch.
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February 1 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 37 coho adults, three jacks, 54 winter-run steelhead adults and two cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Seasons set for Spring Chinook, sturgeon, smelt in Columbia River Basin

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Anticipating a return of 299,200 adult spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set this year’s initial fishing season to run through April 9 on the lower Columbia River.

In addition, representatives from the two states agreed to close the winter sturgeon retention fishery in the Bonneville Pool effective Feb. 8 and approved a six-hour recreational smelt season Feb. 6 on the Cowlitz River.
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January 25 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 90 coho adults, 18 jacks, and 21 winter-run steelhead adults during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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January 19 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 52 coho adults, 19 jacks, and four winter-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
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Comment invited on lower Columbia salmon, sturgeon management

OLYMPIA – The public will have an opportunity to comment on salmon and sturgeon management on the lower Columbia River during a meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission scheduled Jan. 22-23 in Vancouver, Wash.
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January 11 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 68 coho adults, 24 jacks, 13 winter-run steelhead adults, and two cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.Read More. . .

January Southwest Washington Weekender Report

Winter steelhead: High-water conditions put a damper on the fishery in December, but things could pick up this month as winter steelhead continue to move into the lower Columbia River and its tributaries. The Cowlitz and Lewis rivers are usually the star performers at this time of year, but anglers may want to try the smaller rivers and creeks where water levels drop the quickest.
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January 4 fish report

Last week Tacoma Power recovered 90 coho adults, 33 jacks and 15 winter-run steelhead adults during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Read More. . .