“They’re here!” was the message this afternoon from Joe Hymer of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Test dipping today confirmed smelt are present in the lower Cowlitz. Bank dipping near the Longview Bridge produced about 15 fish in a dozen dips, with up to three fish per dip. There was a mix sizes, including some large specimens.
Hymer reported later today that commercial fishermen in the mainsteam of the Columbia landed more smelt on Monday night (3,411 pounds) than the entire season to date through last week (2,444 pounds).
As a reminder, sport dipping is only allowed on the Cowlitz River, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays through March 31. The daily limit is 10 pounds per person per day.