WDFW Opens Chinook Salmon Retention on Lower Cowlitz River


The Washington state Department of Fish and WIldlife (WDFW) has opened the retention of spring Chinook salmon on the lower Cowlitz River.

Salmon retention on the Cowlitz River was closed at the beginning of May to help ensure the spring Chinook broodstock collection goal was achieved, according to WDFW.

“Adult broodstock collection is currently on track and goals are expected to be met. Additionally, upstream transport of hatchery adults in excess of weekly broodstock collections targets is occurring for reintroduction purposes. Returns are sufficient to allow for limited salmon retention,” WDFW stated in a news release.

The minimum salmon size for retention is 12 inches, according to WDFW. There is a daily limit of six and up to one adult may be retained. Anglers must release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho.

Retention will be open through July 31, 2022.  All other permanent rules published in the Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet remain in effect.

Fishery managers will continue to monitor spring Chinook returns to the Cowlitz River and may adjust the daily limit if conditions warrant, according to WDFW.

The posted fishing boundary markers below the Barrier Dam at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery will remain at the standard 400-foot boundary downstream of the fish ladder entrance.