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Smelt Reports for the 2009/2010 season

Scroll down for current reports...........


Cornet Bay ramp, North Whidbey Island — Nov. 2: One boat with two anglers caught no fish; Nov. 4: One boat with two anglers caught five herring; Nov. 7: Five pier anglers caught 186 smelt and three herring; Nov. 8: 14 pier anglers caught 1,143 smelt and 30 herring.


North Sound: The salmon fishing was slowed by the bad weekend weather. Those anglers checked at the Camano Island boat ramp were bringing in some blackmouth, just not as many as the week before. The surf smelt fishing at Coronet Bay is picking up. Fourteen anglers who were checked at the ramp there had caught 1,143 smelt.


Cornet Bay pier, North Whidbey Island — Nov. 14: Four anglers caught 52 smelt.


Smelt fishing has been decent in Cornet Bay.



The mainstem Columbia will be open around the clock to smelt dipping this winter, but sport fishing for smelt on the mainstem has been almost nonexistent.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials are reviewing the state’s smelt conservation plan in regard to Washington tributary sport and commercial fisheries. WDFW wants to hear from the public prior to making fishery decisions for 2010.

The meeting will be the first full week of January in the Longview/Kelso area. Details will be announced next week. There might be adjustments to the current Level 1 fishery plan that has been conducted in recent years.

With the public meeting the first week in January, the earliest sport fishing opportunity would be Jan. 9, and commercial fishing would open the week of Jan. 11.


The Cornet Bay Pier on North Whidbey Island remains very good for smelt jigging on the flood tide, and the Oak Harbor Marina has started to turn out some decent smelt jigging action.


North Sound: Some fish are being caught. Anglers are complaining about the seals and sea lions taking the fish they do hook, Chamberlain said. Cornet Bay and Oak Harbor have been producing fair to good catches of smelt.

Smelt anglers should learn later this week if a season will take place. Season forecasts are calling for another poor run of smelt, leaving some to question if the season should open at all.


Smelt: Just a heads up. There were unconfirmed reports of recent birds/seal activity in the Cowlitz River. The Cowlitz remains closed to sport dipping until Feb. 6.


The first of four days of smelt dipping on the Cowlitz will be Saturday. Anglers can dip from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Daily and possession limit is 10 pounds per person. The other days dipping will be allowed are Feb. 13, 20, and 27. All other Washington Columbia River tributaries remain closed.

There were confirmed reports of smelt in the lower Cowlitz on Friday. However, there were few signs of bird activity on the lower river Monday. In addition, there were few seals in the mainstem Columbia near Longview. Commercial smelt fishers have landed a total of about 2,702 pounds so far in the mainstem Columbia.


Smelt: There were fish seen at Gerhart Gardens in the lower Cowlitz river Jan. 29. The state did not receive any catch reports from the Cowlitz River commercial smelt fishery Wednesday night. Sports dipping is open today and Feb. 13, 20, and 27 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The daily and possession limit is 10 pounds per person.


Smelt: Saturday, the opener of the four-date season on the Cowlitz was a bust with no smelt observed being caught. No smelt were reported caught during Monday night’s commercial fisheries either.


Smelt: There was no reported catch from the first three commercial fishery periods or the first sport opener last Saturday on the Cowlitz. Sport dipping on the Cowlitz is open today and Feb. 20, and 27 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. There were no commercial catches on the mainstem Columbia this week.


Oak Harbor has been producing some good catches of smelt.


Smelt: A few fish were caught a week ago in the Cowlitz sports fishery. Some anglers around the Kelso Bridge – who had waders and a long-handle pole, plus a good back and a few hours – were able to get up to a few pounds of smelt, said state fish biologist Joe Hymer. Today and Feb. 27 are the last days of the sport fishery.


Smelt: No smelt were observed or reported caught on Saturday. This Saturday will be the last day to fish for smelt in the Cowlitz.