No further updates on Cowlitzfish.net for now

Please see the information on the Home page regarding the status of Cowlitzfish.net updates. Thank you.

Steelhead license plate available for purchase

OLYMPIA – Steelhead enthusiasts can now show support for their favorite species by purchasing a vehicle license plate with an image of Washington's iconic state fish.
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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. . .

Upper Cowlitz fisheries subject of Oct. 14 meeting in Packwood

Tacoma Power, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Cowlitz Fisheries Technical Committee will host an informational public meeting about Upper Cowlitz River fisheries from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at the Packwood Senior Center (12931 Hwy 12, Packwood).
Read More. . .

Cowlitz fisheries annual project review meeting set for June 3 in Centralia

Tacoma Power, the 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 June 3.

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

Cowlitz fisheries public meeting set for June 3 at Centralia College

Cowlitz Fisheries Annual Project Review Meeting, Wednesday, June 3, 6-8 p.m. at Centralia College, Walton Science Center, Room 121 (620 Centralia College Blvd.)
Read More. . .

Documents & survey results from March 26 Cowlitz fisheries public meeting posted

Tacoma Power has posted documents and surveys from the March 26, 2015 Cowlitz Fisheries Informational Meeing in Chehalis. Thirty-five people attended the meeting.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery well renovation begins

Tacoma Power will begin renovating five Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery wells on Monday, April 20, leading to temporary closures of some informal parking areas typically used by anglers.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz fisheries public meeting set for April 23 in Centralia

Tacoma Power, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), 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 April 23.

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

Governor appoints 2 to Fish & Wildlife Commission

OLYMPIA - Gov. Jay Inslee has appointed fishing columnist Dave Graybill and retired public health physician Kim Thorburn to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission.

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Cowlitz fisheries public meeting March 26 in Chehalis

Mark your calendars to attend a Cowlitz River Fisheries Informational Meeting by Tacoma Power, 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, March 26. The meeting will be at the Veteran's Memorial Museum, 100 SW Veterans Way in Chehalis.
Read More. . .

Record set for Cowlitz River coho returns

Monday, November 17, was a banner day at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery in Lewis County, where a record number of coho salmon have already returned for the season. From Aug. 16 through Nov. 17, Tacoma Power employees handled 87,054 coho adults, topping the previous record of 85,632 set in the 2002-03 season.Read More. . .

Presentation slides posted from September 9 Fisheries Public Meeting in Morton

Tacoma Power has published the slides shown at the September 9 fisheries public meeting in Morton, Washington. They also will soon be posting answers to questions asked at the meeting. The slides cover the following items:

  • Agenda and History
  • Cowlitz Falls Fish Collection Facility
  • Cowlitz Falls North Shore Collector Design
  • Adaptive Management Plan
  • Upper Cowlitz Adult Releases

Public meeting on upper Cowlitz River fisheries set for September 9 in Morton

Tacoma Power, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Fisheries Technical Committee and the Lewis County Public Utility District will host an informational public meeting about Upper Cowlitz River fisheries from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9. The meeting will take place at Bob Lyle Community Center at 700 Main St. in Morton.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz fisheries public meeting set for September 9 in Morton

  • 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Bob Lyle Community Center, 700 Main St., Morton, WA 98356
  • Hosted by Tacoma Power, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Cowlitz Fisheries Technical Committee
Read More. . .

Cowlitz River level dropped; Tacoma Power restoring flows

An issue with Tacoma Power’s system caused the Cowlitz River to drop about a foot near the Mayfield Dam at approximately 11 a.m. today.

Flows dropped from 4,580 cubic feet per second to 2,750 cubic feet per second. After realizing the error, Tacoma Power began restoring river flows and will continue to do so until the river is fully restored.Read More. . .

Utilities sign agreement that will improve smolt collection in Cowlitz River

Tacoma Power, Lewis County Public Utility District and Bonneville Power Administration have signed a long-term agreement that will improve natural fish runs in western Washington’s Cowlitz River. At the same time, Tacoma Power and Lewis County PUD have formalized an agreement to work cooperatively when the time comes to seek re-licensing from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for their respective dams in the Cowlitz River basin. Read More. . .

Steelhead recycling, Mayfield net pens among topics for July 2 public meeting

Tacoma Power will host an informational public meeting about Cowlitz River fisheries programs from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2. The meeting will be in room 111 at Centralia College’s Walton Science Center at Washington Ave. and Walnut St.

Attendees can provide comments about the recycling of summer-run steelhead in the lower Cowlitz River and will learn about the Mayfield Lake fall Chinook net pen project. Tacoma Power, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Fisheries Technical Committee also will provide information about Cowlitz River hatchery programs and implementing the Cowlitz River Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan.

To get additional information, email cowlitz@ci.tacoma.wa.us.
Read More. . .

Cancelled: There will be no Cowlitz fisheries public meeting in June

The Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee has cancelled a proposed June 19 public meeting. The meeting will be rescheduled for late summer or early fall.

Sparse attendance at April 24 public meeting

Only six members of the public attended Thursday night’s Cowlitz Fisheries public meeting by Tacoma Power and the Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee. The presentation focused on hatchery production which should have been an interest to many who the fish the Cowlitz.

Here is a link to a PDF of the Questions & Answers asked at the March meeting that was handed out at the April meeting.

Click Read More... to see a few photos from the April 24 meeting.Read More. . .

Cowlitz River fisheries public meeting set for April 24 in Centralia

Tacoma Power will host an informational public meeting about Cowlitz River fisheries and hatchery programs from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 24. Tacoma Power and the Fisheries Technical Committee will provide information and review planned activities for implementing the Cowlitz River Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan.Read More. . .

Smolt fish collection and survival documents posted by Tacoma Power

Tacoma Power posted on its Cowlitz Fisheries Committee Web page three “decision documents” regarding smelt fish collection and survival.


These also are linked in the FTC Meeting Documents page along with FTC meeting summaries on Cowlitzfish.net here.

Next Cowlitz fisheries public meeting April 24

About 80 people attended the March 12 Cowlitz Public meeting at Centralia College’s Corbet Theatre. The presentations by representatives of Tacoma Power, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and NOAA-Fisheries focused on recovering naturally spawning fish above and below the Cowlitz River dams along with providing hatchery-reared fish for sports fishing.

Comments and questions from the audience were almost entirely focused on frustration with too few adult hatchery fish returning to the river.

Here is a PDF of the slides which accompanied the presentations.

The next public meeting is scheduled for April 24 at Centralia College.

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New link added to Fisheries Plans section

Just added a link to the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board's 2010 plan that includes a 151-page chapter on the upper Cowlitz, Cispus and Tilton rivers.
Read more...

Cowlitz fisheries public meeting to be held March 12 at Centralia College

Tacoma Power and the Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee are holding a public meeting 5-8 p.m. March 12, 2014 at the Centralia College Corbet Theatre. The meeting will explain the Cowlitz Fisheries annual program review and provide information on the current status and trends for salmon and steelhead populations in the Cowlitz River basin. There also will be opportunity for public comment and questions. The Corbet Theatre is located in the college’s Washington Hall at Walnut Street & Washington Avenue in Centralia.
Read More. . .

Photo shows largest upper Cowlitz natural steelhead to return this year

Scott Gibson is holding the largest natural-origin winter steelhead that arrived at the Salmon Hatchery separator in December. “We are thrilled to see this fish and know its origin,” said Tacoma Power Senior Fisheries Biologist Mark LaRiviere. The steelhead had a cheek tag from being handled as a smolt at the Cowlitz Falls fish collection facility. Accordingly it was returned to the upper Cowlitz River to contribute its significant genetics to the steelhead gene pool in the upper river.

95cm26lbWRSH CSH 12182013

Wind power greatly affects timing of hydro-power generation and resulting river flows

Tacoma Power managers at a September 25 public meeting described reasons for fluctuating Cowlitz River flows. A major change is how wind power is affecting hydro-power operations.

Here is a link to the presentation slides which illustrate minimum flow requirements and the effect of wind power. The minimum flow requirements include a March 1-June 30 weekly 12-hour "transport flow" that is 120 percent of the week's average flow. For example, if the average flow is 5,000 cfs it must be raised to 6,000 cfs for 12 hours at some period during the week. This typically occurs on Tuesdays.
Read More. . .

Answers posted to questions from May 29 public meeting

Update: Tacoma Power will hold a fisheries public meeting at Centralia College on Wednesday, September 25.

More than 100 people turned out for a public meeting May 29 about Cowlitz River fisheries hosted by Tacoma Power and Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife. During the meeting many questions were asked. The link below is to a PDF file with both the questions asked and answers from Tacoma Power and WDFW.

If you have additional questions or comments you can email Mark LaRiviere, Tacoma Power Senior Fisheries Biologist, at this link .

May 29 Q & A document.

Public meeting on Cowlitz River fisheries, hatcheries May 29 in Centralia

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Tacoma Power are hosting a public meeting regarding Cowlitz River fisheries and hatchery programs May 29 in Centralia.

The meeting is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at Centralia College in Washington Hall Room 103, at Washington Ave. and Pear St.
Read More. . .

Remote-controlled dam washer wins national award

A clever invention of Tacoma Power employees is cleaning up in more ways than one.

Today, the utility won an Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award for Operational Excellence from the National Hydropower Association.

Tacoma Power won the award for its remote-controlled dam washer, a unique solution to the dangerous job of cleaning moss off the utility’s seven hydroelectric dams. Employees at the Cowlitz River Project designed and fabricated the remote-controlled pressure washer to safely and effectively perform this job.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz fisheries plans & actions summarized in utility presentation

Tacoma Power’s Natural Resources section staff on March 28, 2012 presented an overview about Cowlitz River Project fisheries plans and actions to members of the utility’s board. The presentation covered
• Cowlitz Project Overview
• Cowlitz License Summary
• Downstream Fish Collection Background & Update
• Upstream Fish Passage & the Cowlitz Restoration & Recovery Fund
• Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan – Monitoring & Evaluation
• Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery Visitors Center Celebration Event

Click here to see the links for viewing the slides which give a good summary of the presentation.

2012 Trout-plants schedule posted; other site updates

The proposed schedule for planting catchable trout in the Cowlitz River watershed is available here. Also, I've improved the links for weather and river flows info on the Fishing Info pages.

Fisheries Technical Committee Jan. 3 meeting summary posted

Sorry I didn’t see this earlier. The meeting summary for the January 3 Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee meeting is available here.

OSU scientists comment on flooding and salmon survival

CORVALLIS, Ore. – In the space of a few days, many rivers in western Oregon have gone from near-record low levels to flood stage, jeopardizing riverside homes, causing flooding and challenging Chinook salmon, steelhead and other native fishes.
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Hatcheries change steelhead genetics after a single generation

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The impact of hatcheries on salmonids is so profound that in just one generation traits are selected that allow fish to survive and prosper in the hatchery environment, at the cost of their ability to thrive and reproduce in a wild environment.

The findings, published last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show a speed of evolution and natural selection that surprised researchers.
Read More. . .

FERC receives Cowlitz FHMP Update

Tacoma Power has submitted its 2011 Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan Update to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for review and approval. It is available for download as a PDF file from FERC’s site Here.

The submitted update is not yet approved by FERC.

More information about the final draft FHMP Update is in a special section Here at Cowlitzfish.net.

Draft FHMP Update documents now available for download

The Draft Cowlitz River Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan Update documents are now available for download. Go to the FHMP Update page here at cowlitzfish.net to access the downloads along with the public meeting schedule and information about the public comment process.

Public meetings scheduled for updated fisheries' plan

The new draft Cowlitz River Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan (FHMP) is the subject for a series of public meetings this month in Lewis County. (The draft FHMP update should be available for download at cowlitzfish.net by this Wednesday).

  • Monday, August 15, 5:00-7:30 p.m. at Centralia College Washington Hall Room 103 in Centralia.
  • Tuesday, August 16, 5:00-7:30 p.m. at Mossyrock High School multipurpose room in Mossyrock.
  • Monday, August 22, 1:00-4:00 p.m. and 4:30-6:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Academy in Toledo.

The August 15 meeting will present an overview of the new draft FHMP and the same presentation will be given at the August 16 meeting. Presenters are Mark LaRiviere, Tacoma Power senior fisheries biologist, and Pat Frazier, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Region 5 fish manager.

The first session of the August 22 meeting will review details of the statistical analysis used to arrive at the FHMP strategies. The second session is for the public to officially comment on the draft plan.

Written public comments can be submitted by mail or email until September 12, 2011.

Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan update not yet complete

The Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee (FTC) is working to complete a federally required update to the Cowlitz River Fisheries & Hatchery Management Plan (FHMP). Their objective was to have the draft updated plan completed and to review it with the public this Spring. However, some portions of the plan are not yet final. Tacoma Power recently informed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that an additional six months may be needed to complete the plan update.
Read More. . .

Catchable trout being planted in Cowlitz watershed

Tacoma Power is planting catchable rainbow trout at various locations in the Cowlitz River watershed. A chart showing the quantity and location of the trout plants – as well as the size in fish per pound – is posted in the Fishing Info section of Cowlitzfish.net. The chart will be updated weekly through September 5, 2011. Click here...

Attendee list from Morton meeting posted

The attendance signup list from the March 18 public meeting in Morton is now posted along with the reports from the meeting’s presentations. Click here....

Catchable trout planted in Cowlitz area

Tacoma Power is planting catchable rainbow trout at various locations in the Cowlitz River watershed. A chart showing the quantity and location of the trout plants – as well as the size in fish per pound – is posted in the Fishing Info section of Cowlitzfish.net. The chart will be updated weekly. Click here...

Late winter-run hatchery steelhead program will continue

A rumor is reported that there will be no more hatchery winter-run steelhead produced. This is false. The late-winter-run steelhead hatchery program is continuing. Being discontinued is production of the non-native early-winter steelhead hatchery stock. This was explained at a public meeting October 29 in Centralia. Go to this page to learn the truth about future plans for Cowlitz hatchery production. Check out the Hatchery Program Alternatives document on that page.

Morton meeting info posted

Nearly 100 fishing enthusiasts attended a public meeting on Cowlitz fisheries plans Thursday, March 18 in Morton. The hot topic was productivity testing. The testing affects only late-winter-run steelhead in the Tilton River and upper watershed. Sports fishing will continue in those areas for other species.

Information about productivity testing and audio files of other meeting presentations are now available
here on cowlitzfish.net.

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. . .

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. . .

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.

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

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. . .

Obama to pick Oregon marine biologist to head NOAA

Jane Lubchenco, an Oregon State professor and marine biologist, is reported to be President-elect Obama’s pick to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Click here for a report in the Friday, Dec. 19 The Oregonian.

Public meeting set for Dec. 2 in Morton

The Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee (FTC) is holding a public meeting December 2, 2008 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Morton. The meeting will be in the Bob Lyle Community Center at Gust Backstrom Park.
Read More. . .

August 19 Public Meeting Scheduled

The Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee will hold a public meeting Tuesday, August 19 in Centralia to discuss projects and plans for significantly improving downstream fish collection at and near Cowlitz Falls Dam. The meeting is set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Washington Hall at Centralia College. The meeting was originally scheduled for August 14 but is moved to August 19 to accommodate the attendance of Lewis County PUD.
Read More. . .

USFWS appoints Romanksi to FTC

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has appointed Tim Romanski to succeed Brian Peck as the agency's representative on the Cowlitz River Fisheries Technical Committee. See the Who's Who? page for more information.

WDF&W sets hunters' meeings in Toledo, Vancouver & White Salmon

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Hunters and other area residents will have an opportunity to help shape future hunting seasons in southwest Washington at three "open house" events scheduled in August by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
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Salmon Hatchery Rebuild Topic for June 26 Public Meeting

People interested in the future of the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery and fishing on the Cowlitz River will learn about Tacoma Power’s hatchery-rebuild plans on June 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Hosting the public meeting in Washington Hall at Centralia College are Tacoma Power and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The meeting also will allow fishing enthusiasts an opportunity to ask questions about Cowlitz River fisheries management plans and activities.
Read More. . .

Rainbow Trout released to Swofford Pond

Tacoma Power on Thursday, April 3, released 3,500 rainbow trout at Swofford Pond (located near Mossyrock Park and Riffe Lake). Other releases are planned in Cowlitz River watershed. Updated information will be in Monday's Cowlitz Fish Report. The trout are from the Nisqually Trout Farm and the WDF&W's net pens in Mayfield Lake.

Upper Cowlitz fish collection options described at public meeting

More than 30 ideas for improving the safe capture of juvenile salmon at or near Cowlitz Falls Dam were described at a public meeting Thursday, May 20, in Centralia. Seven citizens attended the meeting to hear fisheries managers from Tacoma Power and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife explain the outcome from a recent two-day workshop of fish-collection experts.
Read More. . .

Cowlitz Falls Dam fish collection background

Click to open PDF of document describing the history of fish collection at Cowlitz Falls Dam.

Public meeting scheduled March 20 in Centralia to discuss fish collection at Cowlitz Falls Dam

A multi-agency technical group involved in rebuilding naturally spawning salmon and steelhead runs on the upper Cowlitz River will host a public meeting March 20 in Centralia to share input received from experts for improving fish collection at the Cowlitz Falls Dam.
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Upper Cowlitz River nutrient enhacement

For many people, the sight of dead fish in a river might raise an alarm bell. For Tacoma Power, however, that sight in the Cowlitz River basin means the potential for a generation of hearty juvenile salmon. Before leaving a river to go to the ocean, juvenile salmon grow by eating salmon carcasses, salmon eggs and macro invertebrates that eat salmon carcasses.
Read More. . .

Morton Public Meeting, Nov. 20

OLYMPIA - A new program for restoring naturally spawning coho salmon runs in the upper Cowlitz River will be the focus of a public meeting Nov. 20 in Morton.
Read More. . .