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#1021885 - 02/10/20 11:50 PM One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River
DrifterWA Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 4645
Loc: East of Aberdeen, West of Mont...

WDFW News Release

OLYMPIA – Fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved a limited-opening recreational smelt fishery for Friday, Feb. 14.

A portion of the Cowlitz River will be open to recreational dip netting along the shore from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for one day only.

The portion of the river open to dip netting extends 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.


This is the first year since 2017 that a recreational smelt fishery has opened on the Cowlitz. Columbia River smelt – also known as Eulachon – were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2010.

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 5-gallon bucket. No fishing license is required to dip net for smelt in this limited fishery.
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"Worse day sport fishing, still better than the best day working"

"I thought growing older would take longer"

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#1021886 - 02/10/20 11:54 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
DrifterWA Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 4645
Loc: East of Aberdeen, West of Mont...

The actual memo must have been written by a English major.....it went on and on and on.

I shortened it......
_________________________

"Worse day sport fishing, still better than the best day working"

"I thought growing older would take longer"

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#1021900 - 02/11/20 08:27 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Online   content
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 3152
I hope Russia got the message so they can line the river bank with the usual cast of characters.

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#1021929 - 02/11/20 10:49 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 2972
One half day on a work day, with less than a week's notice. Glad I don't depend on the smelt fishery being a reasonable opportunity....

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#1022057 - 02/12/20 07:07 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
NickD90 Offline
Shooting Instructor for hire

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 5951
Loc: Snohomish, WA
IMO - if a "run" of any type of wildlife will only support a 1/2 day opening every couple of years, then it should just be shut down entirely. Maybe I'm wrong here, but that doesn't sound like sustainable conservation to me.

But hey...thanks for the "opportunity" WDFW!
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“If the military were fighting for our freedom, they would be storming Capitol Hill”. – FleaFlickr02

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#1022067 - 02/12/20 07:54 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 25720
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
I suspect this opening has more to do with the fact that they are having a commercial opener for this same destroyed run.

Fish on...

Todd

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#1022069 - 02/12/20 07:57 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: NickD90]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 2972
Originally Posted By: NickD90
IMO - if a "run" of any type of wildlife will only support a 1/2 day opening every couple of years, then it should just be shut down entirely. Maybe I'm wrong here, but that doesn't sound like sustainable conservation to me.

But hey...thanks for the "opportunity" WDFW!


Agreed. Gotta get that "threatened" designation downgraded ASAP apparently....

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#1022070 - 02/12/20 08:38 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Online   content
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 3152
Rape the resource until it's quit kicking that's our motto..

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#1022080 - 02/12/20 09:17 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1524
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
I fail to see how WDFW can open this fishery for anyone. These are ESA-listed fish. This is NOT incidental take. It’s direct take. And there are no hatchery smelt that might compete with wild smelt on the spawning grounds. These are all wild fish. NMFS can exempt ‘incidental take’ but I’m not sure how they can allow ‘direct take’ of a listed species.

Plus, there is no requirement to possess a fishing license! This galls me more than anything. Given their budget situation, why does WDFW allow participation in this fishery without a license?! Anyone from anywhere can dip 10lbs of an ESA listed species without so much as a $15 fishing license. So an unlimited number of people can harvest a State-owned resource without providing any support to the State. I know of no other fishery anywhere in the State that allows the harvest of a State-owned resource without a license. How hard is it to require one?

And given the precarious situation in the ocean, principally the lack of forage fish, why are we harvesting the spawning adults?

This is an outrage, on a number of levels.
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MSB

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#1022081 - 02/12/20 09:31 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
NickD90 Offline
Shooting Instructor for hire

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 5951
Loc: Snohomish, WA
To add, how much will be spent on enforcement? You know there will be a couple of field officers in there checking limits.

Wouldn't those dollars be better suited for something else that is more viable? LIKE A SEASON FOR A CERTAIN RIVER SYSTEM UP NORTH!!!

foul
_________________________
“If the military were fighting for our freedom, they would be storming Capitol Hill”. – FleaFlickr02

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#1022082 - 02/12/20 09:42 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Online   content
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 3152
You guys are soooo nearsighted.

Obviously WDFW needs to get some filming done on their reality TV series.

Some camera time and 15 seconds of fame far outweigh the needs of the WA State sportsmen.

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#1022084 - 02/12/20 09:46 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
NickD90 Offline
Shooting Instructor for hire

Registered: 10/26/10
Posts: 5951
Loc: Snohomish, WA
Break out your best track suits fellas...we gettin' on TV!

Dosvedanya little river smelt!
_________________________
“If the military were fighting for our freedom, they would be storming Capitol Hill”. – FleaFlickr02

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#1022085 - 02/12/20 09:47 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: cohoangler]
SpoonFed Offline
Spawner

Registered: 01/29/19
Posts: 978
Great observation cohoangler. You are 100% right.

Especially without the CR endorsement not in effect anymore.

What a circus.

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#1022087 - 02/12/20 09:52 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: NickD90]
SpoonFed Offline
Spawner

Registered: 01/29/19
Posts: 978
Originally Posted By: NickD90
Break out your best track suits fellas...we gettin' on TV!

Dosvedanya little river smelt!



"So, no good eh, full buket."
I jus move here.
what is regulation?"

I see it too often...Especially on that river.

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#1022089 - 02/12/20 09:57 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Online   content
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 3152
Why doesn't someone send that bit of info to the Daily Olympian????

"I fail to see how WDFW can open this fishery for anyone. These are ESA-listed fish. This is NOT incidental take. It’s direct take. And there are no hatchery smelt that might compete with wild smelt on the spawning grounds. These are all wild fish. NMFS can exempt ‘incidental take’ but I’m not sure how they can allow ‘direct take’ of a listed species.

Plus, there is no requirement to possess a fishing license! This galls me more than anything. Given their budget situation, why does WDFW allow participation in this fishery without a license?! Anyone from anywhere can dip 10lbs of an ESA listed species without so much as a $15 fishing license. So an unlimited number of people can harvest a State-owned resource without providing any support to the State. I know of no other fishery anywhere in the State that allows the harvest of a State-owned resource without a license. How hard is it to require one?

And given the precarious situation in the ocean, principally the lack of forage fish, why are we harvesting the spawning adults?

This is an outrage, on a number of levels."

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#1022090 - 02/12/20 09:57 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Online   content
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 3152
Hang em high bitches!!!!

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#1022109 - 02/12/20 11:36 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5787
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
I believe that the license requirement comes from the Leg. They decide what requires a license and fees.

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#1022112 - 02/12/20 12:30 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Myassisdragon Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 1218
Loc: The Wet Side
Give Todd the Kewpie Doll for the best guess yet.

If we’re gonna kill & eat em , might as well just scoop up the last of the few with the biggest nets possible, and sell em to the highest bidder.

Done deal, so just take some time to plan for your next opportunity - Shad trips.....
_________________________
Hmmm

- "Wild steelhead were more numerous this year than they were in the 1970s" ( ITYOOL - 2015 )

- "It's past the time to "play nice", after all, they are pooching us royally."

D'uh!

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#1022117 - 02/12/20 01:39 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12785
Good catch Cohoangler. Smelt are ESA listed. There is no Resource Management Plan, no application, no NMFS review, no NMFS approval. By any measure this is an illegal fishery that NMFS is allowing to fly under the radar. But no way in hell can they allow the fly fishing season on the Stilly for steelhead and cutthroat that might, just might, harm an ESA listed Stilly Chinook.

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#1022125 - 02/12/20 02:09 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5787
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
No Tribes to piss off on the Cowlitz, perhaps?

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#1022127 - 02/12/20 02:18 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: Carcassman]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12785
Originally Posted By: Carcassman
No Tribes to piss off on the Cowlitz, perhaps?


The petition to list the smelt under the ESA was filed by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, but they are non-treaty and don't have treaty fishing rights.

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#1022128 - 02/12/20 02:29 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1524
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
That'd be correct. The Cowlitz Tribe successfully petitioned NMFS to list smelt as threatened back in 2007.

Although they don't have a treaty on which to derive treaty-reserved fishing rights, the Cowlitz Tribe has been extraordinarily helpful in many natural resource issues in the Lower Columbia, including estuary restoration and recovery of Columbia whitetailed deer. Their commitment to restoring their historic homelands in SW Washington is impressive, even on a shoe-string budget.

They can't be happy about this either.
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MSB

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#1022129 - 02/12/20 02:52 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5787
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
But since they don't have fishing rights, WDFW does not have to ask permission. What is their Political Donations budget?

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#1022272 - 02/13/20 08:35 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2809
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Well, I know it added to State revenue.......saw a guy walking out of Bass Pro today with a new smelt net. One day and done.....
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Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

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#1022314 - 02/14/20 12:43 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Take-Down Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 114
The folks talking about the politics of the season have some valid points, but from a pure fishing perspective, that was fun. I don't know what is normal for that run but there was a constant stream of fish going by just before 8:00. After the first scoop they dove, but were still there. Half a dozen of us got limits in 10-15 minutes. Lots of Fish and Game officers around--folks seemed pretty well behaved. Have never netted small fish like that and was pleased for the opportunity and thankful that WDFW opened it for a day. Mostly just posted because I miss back in the day when this was more of a fishing board, and thought some people might be interested in whether the fishing was good. Not trying to upset anyone.

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#1022319 - 02/14/20 12:55 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: Salmo g.]
SpoonFed Offline
Spawner

Registered: 01/29/19
Posts: 978
Originally Posted By: Salmo g.
Good catch Cohoangler. Smelt are ESA listed. There is no Resource Management Plan, no application, no NMFS review, no NMFS approval. By any measure this is an illegal fishery that NMFS is allowing to fly under the radar. But no way in hell can they allow the fly fishing season on the Stilly for steelhead and cutthroat that might, just might, harm an ESA listed Stilly Chinook.


Lol... Right?
We must be missing something...not
It's pretty clear to me..

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#1022321 - 02/14/20 01:59 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: Take-Down]
FleaFlickr02 Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/28/09
Posts: 2972
Originally Posted By: Take-Down
The folks talking about the politics of the season have some valid points, but from a pure fishing perspective, that was fun. I don't know what is normal for that run but there was a constant stream of fish going by just before 8:00. After the first scoop they dove, but were still there. Half a dozen of us got limits in 10-15 minutes. Lots of Fish and Game officers around--folks seemed pretty well behaved. Have never netted small fish like that and was pleased for the opportunity and thankful that WDFW opened it for a day. Mostly just posted because I miss back in the day when this was more of a fishing board, and thought some people might be interested in whether the fishing was good. Not trying to upset anyone.


Certainly no problems with the people taking advantage of the opportunity (and not overharvesting). Good on you for making the most of it!

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#1022328 - 02/14/20 03:10 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: Take-Down]
stonefish Offline
King of the Beach

Registered: 12/11/02
Posts: 4761
Loc: Carkeek Park
Originally Posted By: Take-Down
The folks talking about the politics of the season have some valid points, but from a pure fishing perspective, that was fun. I don't know what is normal for that run but there was a constant stream of fish going by just before 8:00. After the first scoop they dove, but were still there. Half a dozen of us got limits in 10-15 minutes. Lots of Fish and Game officers around--folks seemed pretty well behaved. Have never netted small fish like that and was pleased for the opportunity and thankful that WDFW opened it for a day. Mostly just posted because I miss back in the day when this was more of a fishing board, and thought some people might be interested in whether the fishing was good. Not trying to upset anyone.


You have to take every opportunity you get, seeing as they are becoming more rare these days.
Good to hear you had good success. You going to fry or smoke your smelt?
SF
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Go Dawgs!
Founding Member - 2021 Pink Plague Opposition Party
#coholivesmatter
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#1022364 - 02/15/20 10:35 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Take-Down Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 114
We fried some and sauteed some. Hadn't thought about smoking them. I think I like catching them more than eating them.

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#1022365 - 02/15/20 11:26 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: Take-Down]
SpoonFed Offline
Spawner

Registered: 01/29/19
Posts: 978
Smoke em up. You won't be disappointed.

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#1022367 - 02/15/20 01:01 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5787
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
We tried, in the distant past, smoked and fried. Best way turned out to be feed them to the chickens and eat the eggs. But, years later I had some sushi eulachon. That was top notch stuff. Perhaps the sake helped, but it was good.

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#1022369 - 02/15/20 02:50 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Lifter99 Offline
Smolt

Registered: 12/01/18
Posts: 97
I always liked them smoked. Kind of mushy fried.

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#1022371 - 02/15/20 06:54 PM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
bobrr Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 08/21/18
Posts: 111
I find they are less mushy and better eating if head and stomach contents are removed before frying or smoking. Scissors make it fast work. I actually pull the backbone out like a popcicle stick before eating after frying, and pick the two sides off the backbone after smoking. It doesn't take long and you wind up with a lot of boneless smoked pieces that can just be eaten or used in delicious recipes or salads. It actually was buying smoked smelt 40 + years ago that started my smoked fish love. Started smoking smelt and chums after that to get my smoking skills down before starting on silvers and kings.

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#1022571 - 02/20/20 11:26 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 25720
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
Looks like WDFW is contemplating another opener, maybe as soon as next week...runsize is looking better than what was first thought.

Fish on...

Todd

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#1022573 - 02/20/20 11:55 AM Re: One-day smelt opening announced for Cowlitz River [Re: DrifterWA]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Online   content
Official Darkside Fucktard Whisperer

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 3152
What????
A mid season adjustment???

Oh how state of the art!!!

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