April Fishing Report

Fish Report

Things are going pretty well, we are seeing quite a few more fish. More spring Chinook, and we are still getting some late winter run steelhead. The water levels have still been fluctuating some but most of the guys have adjusted to that. You have great visibility up here. They are still using a lot of shrimp, a lot of eggs, a lot of jigs, corky and yarn, the wicked lure. So there is still a variety of fishing going on.

And the boat fishermen are free drifting, some are pulling the 3×5 Megg now. They are pulling the super baits. So as far as the boats go they are catching some real nice fish, most of it is in the Blue Creek area. Mostly the boat fishermen are targeting the steelhead yet. Barrier Dam up here they are getting some nice spring Chinook we have seen this week and still steelhead also from bank fishermen coming from Blue Creek. And there have been night fishermen down there at Blue Creek too now. So all in all the Cowlitz has been doing well. Mayfield Lake they are picking up some trout up there now. Still haven’t heard much on Riffe Lake or Swofford Pond. I did hear that they planted some fish in Swofford Pond. South County Park, I have heard, there has been people fishing down there, and they are getting some nice fish again.

We do have a variety of fishing in the area. Take a nice day or rainy day and go fishing!

Karen Glaser
Barrier Dam Campground

April Presidents Message

Mossyrock Hatchery needs to come back home!

Well, a lot of issues would be resolved if WDFW would use our Mossyrock Trout Hatchery for rearing Cowlitz River stocks instead of using it to rear trout for Eastern Washington and their Kalama River wild steelhead brood stock program.

One has to ask who in region 5 made such stupid management calls? The Cowlitz hatchery has been limited to its production for several reasons such as having access to good clean water free from disease and lack of warmer ground and spring water temperatures which promotes bigger and better size smolts. The Mossyrock Trout Hatchery has both of these prime conditions to rear our fish in, but WDFW has chosen to use it for other out of basin fish production needs. That needs to change and it needs changing now!

It’s way past time that WDFW needs to start caring about the Cowlitz River needs; instead of what some other basins political needs are, especially their own stupid self serving Eastside trout stocking programs. If they want a trout fishery for that area, they should grow them over there or buy them from a fish farm. Its time for Kalama WDFW fish managers to seek out their own local basin needs and remedies for their own wild steelhead brood programs too! If WDFW would use the Mossyrock Trout Hatchery for its own watershed needs (the Cowlitz Basin), it could easily raise an additional 65,000 late winters or summer run steelhead or more there. Additionally, having the ability to start raising early river run steelhead for the months of November, December and January which should have never been taken out of the Cowlitz in the first place.

After rearing these fish to 7fpp they could be taken back down to the Cowlitz Trout hatchery and put into Tacoma’s earthen ponds for acclimation and volitional release. This would also greatly reduce the problems that Tacoma and WDFW have had recently with their bird predation problems where they have recently loss some 500,000 plus steelhead and cutthroat smolts. WDFW continually tells us that Tacoma can’t rear anymore then 650,000 pounds (Tacoma’s self imposed limits) of fish in their combined hatcheries, but there is NO good reason why our WDFW can’t use its own Mossyrock Hatchery to rear addition fish for the Cowlitz sport fishers. WDFW’s own top manager (Jim Scott) has stated that each sport caught steelhead generates approximately $1000 to the local community’s economics that they are caught in and that was over 10 years ago! If we get back the standard adult return rate on summers (about 1%) that would be about 650 sport caught fish which is worth about $650,000 or more to our local economies. Some return years are as high as 3.5% so we could triple the dollar value at times. As it currently stands, WDFW is more concerned about the health of the Kalama steelhead wild brood program and the eastern trout fishery then they are about the health of our Cowlitz River and its fishery. Maybe its time for another senate committee hearing on this Mossyrock Hatchery issue just like the last hearing that was held earlier in April on the huge loss of our steelhead smolts?

That hearing resulted in seeing the past Region 5 Fish manager being transferred to another position out of region 5 which was way over due. We are not done with this issue, so stay tuned!