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Discussion Starter #1
Well, last week on the Cow was a treat. Tons of smelt to be had. And we were on fire! I know this is late, but we had so much fun! I suggest a Gamefishin Smelt Run next year. I suppose we limited out. We were throwing the small ones back!
 

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nice batch of bait!!!!
Hope to do the same in the morning too.

Just a reminder for those of you that are going to give it a shot for the first time. The pic. of the fish in the cooler is a no-no.
Each limit of smelt must be in a seperate container. One cooler is fine but each limit must be bagged or seperated from another persons limit. The days of tossing a couple limits in the same bucket for two people are over.
 

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it's been years since I limited on the cowlitz

what I remember most was my aching shoulders and back from dipping that net in the current
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep we were all achy the next day, then that damn Brisbane Flu or whatever. But standing in the river all day probably didnt help. Gordy, we only dumped the smelt into the cooler at the gas station where we iced em. FYI. If fresh smelt is a crime, lock me up and throw away the key. Then we get back and hear on the news that smelt runs are considered for ESA list. I have complained about taking more of your share (we were four people- six consumers in all)but sheesh the WDFW HAS to keep us sportsmen ahead of the game. Manage it for us WDFW! Save the tasty smelt!
 

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20miler said:
Then we get back and hear on the news that smelt runs are considered for ESA list. I have complained about taking more of your share (we were four people- six consumers in all)but sheesh the WDFW HAS to keep us sportsmen ahead of the game. Manage it for us WDFW! Save the tasty smelt!
That comes from allowing "commercial test fisheries" on a depleted stock using the excuse that if the commercials didn't fish on them, we wouldn't know what was out there in the Columbia River. Hello.... Count what goes up the tribs to the Columbia. Whatever.... The claim a "precautionary approach" using the "best available science" to fish management. Uh yeah....

The run would surpass 3 million pounds of commercial catch only 15 years ago with LOWS of 500,000 pounds... Check out this document http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/creel/smelt/stu ... melt08.pdf (Page 38 on the PDF) and see the harvest numbers plummet plummet overall after 1992 but especially in some of the tributaries which no longer have smelt. Other than the 2002/3 years which was used last time to say that annual variability is to blame, there are like 15 bad years. At no time was the catch halted (Commercial or recreational). I don't like closures any better than the next guy but I don't complain that we get sockeye fisheries on Lake Washington only every 4 years. I always hope that the "weak" years will recover enough to fish on later. I am willing to give up some fishing now with the hopes of better fishing in the future by protecting stocks from overharvest. THAT would be the precautionary approach.... Oh, I didn't realize there isn't a commercial fishery on Lake Washington sockeye. :roll:
 
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