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Smelt are running, but rivers are still closed

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Feb. 2, 2011 at 10:44 am |
February 2, 2011 10:57 am

A youtube.com video is getting lots of attention, but anglers need to remember that smelt fishing is closed in th Columbia River and its tributaries.

Joe Hymer, state fish biologist, reported this morning:

“Just a heads up that we are getting reports of smelt in the Cowlitz River and some of the other tributaries.

“Please remember in Washington, all freshwater – including the mainstem Columbia and tributaries – and saltwater areas are closed to fishing for eulachon (Columbia River smelt).”

The video shows a school of smelt running up the Cowlitz River, holding close to the bank.

Here is a link to the video.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Dec. 15 that fishing for smelt statewide was closed.

Smelt are listed under the Endangered Species Act as “threatened.” There are no harvestable populations within the state and the statewide fishing closure will provide additional protection, said the agency’s December news release.

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