Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

May 8, 2009

All spring chinook must be released
on the Lewis River

Action: Lewis River anglers must release all spring chinook beginning May 11.

Species affected: Chinook salmon

Effective dates by location: May 11 through July 31.

Location: Mainstem Lewis from mouth to mouth of East Fork; North Fork Lewis from mouth of East Fork to overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam

Reason for action: Pre-season, only 2,200 adult spring chinook were forecasted to return to the Lewis system this year. The hatchery adult sport daily limit was previously reduced to one fish under emergency regulation.

To date, only a few dozen hatchery adult spring chinook have entered the traps on the Lewis. The hatchery escapement goal is 1,250. Based upon recent year return timing, the goal may not be met even with a reduced daily limit.

Other information: Creel sampling surveys have shown light catches and no evidence of large numbers of fish holding in the river. Hatchery returns will continue to be closely monitored.

Both the mainstem and North Fork Lewis remain open to fishing for hatchery steelhead.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.