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Smell Reports for 2015

Smelt 02/03/2015

Sports fishermen with with dip nets will be allowed to dip for smelt along the Cowlitz River bank from 6 a.m.-noon Saturday and Feb. 14. Each dip-netter can keep 10 pounds of smelt (about one-quarter of a five-gallon bucket) per day, with no more than one day's limit in possession.

Smelt 01/30/2015

Recreational dipping for smelt in the Cowlitz River will be open from 6 a.m.-noon Feb. 7 and 14, part of an effort to gauge smelt population growth. Fishery managers in Washington and Oregon on Wednesday approved the move, as well as a recreational fishery in Oregon’s Sandy River and a commerical fishery in the Columbia River. It is the second straight year limited dipping will be allowed because the species was listed in 2010 as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Each Cowlitz angler may keep 10 pounds of smelt per day, with no more than one day’s limit in possession. Ten pounds is about a quarter of a five-gallon bucket. No fishing license is required to dip for smelt in Washington.

In 2014, sport dippers caught an estimated 198,000 pounds of smelt in the Cowlitz during two days of good fishing in early March. The mainstem commercial fishery harvested an estimated 18,600 pounds of fish in February.

Smelt Reports 03/26/2014

Oak Harbor: Folks looking for something to do this weekend might want to make the drive and jig for smelt. The action has been very good, with many people catching their 10-pound limit.

Smelt Reports 03/12/2014
smelt: Saturday was another good day for dipping on the Cowlitz, with most 10-pound limits caught in a few dips or less. Fish were reported upstream to Blue Creek. Fish also are reported in the North Fork Lewis River and upstream to Vancouver in the mainstem Columbia. No more recreational fisheries are currently scheduled.

Smelt Reports 02/26/2014

Cowlitz:When it comes to smelt dipping, “they aren’t getting enough to make a meal,” Chamberlain said. North Sound Smelt dipping has been nonexistent.

Smelt Reports 02/12/2014

Smelt: Only a half-dozen people were seen dipping Saturday in the Cowlitz, and they had no catch on the first of four Saturdays dipping is allowed. The river is open Saturdays 6 a.m.-noon through March 1. Dip nets used from the bank only. The daily limit is 10 pounds per person.

Smelt Reports 02/06/2014

Smelt dipping to open Saturday Feb.8th on Cowlitz River!

Saturday will mark the first time in four years that smelt dippers will be able to try their luck, but only on the Cowlitz River.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon on Wednesday approved a limited four-Saturday season, mainly so biologists can collect more information about the run size and about the fish, listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Sport anglers will be allowed to dip their nets from 6 a.m.-noon from the banks of the river on Saturday, Feb. 15, Feb. 22 and March 1. The limit is 10 pounds per person, equal to one-fourth of a five-gallon bucket. No fishing license required.

After the fish was listed in May 2010, commercial fishing was closed in December 2010 and recreational fishing closed in January 2011.

Pressure for resuming fishing reached a peak last year, when the lower Columbia River had a huge smelt run.

This year’s run could be as big, according to biologists, though there might not be many smelt in the Cowlitz. There has been little bird or marine mammal activity in the lower river since Jan. 19.

Smelt Reports 01/29/2014

Cornet Bay is producing good catches of smelt.