Allows adipose fin-clipped Chinook salmon retention on Cowlitz River

Cowlitz River - (Cowlitz County)

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

Action: Modifies the salmon harvest rules to allow retention of adipose fin-clipped adult Chinook salmon.

Effective date: May 25 through July 31, 2024.

Species affected: Salmon.

Location: Cowlitz River from the mouth to the fishing boundary signs below the Barrier Dam.

Rule: Minimum size is 12 inches. Daily limit is six (6) including no more than one (1) adult. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook salmon with an adipose fin clip with a healed scar, and hatchery coho.

Reason for action: Earlier this year, salmon retention on the Cowlitz River was restricted to adult Chinook salmon with an adipose and a ventral fin clip to help ensure the spring Chinook salmon broodstock collection goal was achieved. Adult broodstock collection is currently on track and goals are expected to be met. Additionally, upstream transport of hatchery adults in excess of weekly broodstock collections targets is occurring for reintroduction purposes. Therefore, a reopening for retention of one adult hatchery Chinook salmon is warranted.

Additional information: Under permanent rules, the lower Cowlitz River is currently open for hatchery spring Chinook salmon retention from the mouth up to the fishing boundary signs below the Barrier Dam. The size limit for Chinook jacks is a minimum of 12 inches and less than 24 inches in length. All other permanent rules published in the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet remain in effect.

Information contact: Josua Holowatz, District Fish Biologist, 360-906-6771.

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