Seals are showing up in the lower Cowlitz River, along with increased numbers of sea birds, sure signs that some smelt are arriving. Washington Fish and Wildlife reports that preparations are being made for some limited commercial research dips in the Columbia River, and they say that the results of those test dips will determine if there will be a sport fishery this year. Fishery managers say that the projections show that the 2018 smelt run will be smaller than last year’s, when only one day of sport dipping was allowed. Limited commercial dipping is being done on specific days, and if those test dips average 250 pounds each, then it’s possible that a limited sport season could be considered. The days for the test dips have not been announced.
In other Columbia River fishing news, retention of White Sturgeon between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam is now shut down, and the retention of sturgeon between John Day Dam and McNary Dam will end on the 12th of this month. Both areas will remain open for catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon. It’s noted that there at least one of these areas could re-open in the near future.