Cowlitz River Fishing Guide

The Cowlitz River fishing guide catches more Steelhead and Salmon than others because a local Cowlitz River fishing guide knows these waters like the back of his hand.

The Cowlitz River fishing guide catches Trout and Salmon Chinook Salmon Steelhead/Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Trout and salmon, traditionally regarded as cold water fish, are inhabitants of the deep, open waters of Lake Berryessa, and can often reach “trophy” sizes of more than 10 pounds (the average size is 2-4 pounds). These fish are best caught by trolling – dragging a spinner or minnow on a line behind a slow moving boat in open water – a method made easier with the help of a downrigger or fish finder.

During the spring, trout and salmon swim at depths around 15-20 feet. In the summer they are generally found below 40 feet. Another method used to catch trout or salmon is to drift a minnow, nightcrawler, or salmon eggs in open water using a bobber. Shore fishing has proven less successful for these fish, but it is possible during the spring when the water temperatures are still cool. Fly fishing is a fun way to catch Salmon on the Cowlitz River in Southwest Washington just off the Columbia River. Time, patience, and experience are all necessary to catch these fish. Rainbow trout are the most common trout species; however brown trout and brook trout also exist. Steelhead are native to the Cowlitz River and can be caught by a Cowlitz
River fishing guide who knows how to catch Steelhead.

Cowlitz River: Boating access is available at the I-5 Bridge just south of exit 59, Massey Bar, Blue Creek (Cowlitz Trout Hatchery), and the Barrier Dam (Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery). For more information and directions on boating access sites, go to . For current, Real Time River flows check the USGS web site at  for the latest map or call Tacoma Power’s toll-free fishing hotline at (888) 502-8690. The access areas at the Cowlitz salmon and trout hatcheries are provide some of the most popular bank fishing areas on the river. Mill Creek provides an additional hatchery winter steelhead opportunity during some months. Night closures and non-buoyant lure restrictions are in effect. Check the latest regulation pamphlet for additional restrictions in the Mill Creek to Barrier Dam area. The outfall area at the trout hatchery provides a special fishing area for wheelchair-bound anglers; again, check the latest regulation pamphlet for boundaries and more information. All cutthroat must be released in the Cowlitz and Cispus rivers upstream from Cowlitz Falls Dam, including Lake Scanewa, Clear and Muddy forks of the Cowlitz, Ohanapecosh River, and North Fork of the Cispus. The North Fork Cispus, and Clear and Muddy forks of the Cowlitz, have selective gear restrictions during all open seasons.

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Please set time aside to come to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on Friday, December 4 @ 8:00 am sharp.
This is in regard to the management of the Cowlitz River, specifically winter and summer steelhead. WE HAVE MOMENTUM RIGHT NOW SO PLEASE BE THERE.
Even if you do not want to testify we need you there to show support in numbers. This meeting is imperative - the commission has been told there will be a lot of people there, so if we are not there this effort and any momentum we have built will be lost. 3 of the commission members are talking about the Cowlitz so we need to support them.
If you want to provide testimony please make the following Points:
• The Department under the previous leadership has not listened to our concerns regarding the Cowlitz River. We as sport fisherman and sport fishing guides were excluded from the process to develop the Cowlitz Fish Management Plan. We would appreciate a new look at our concerns.
The Cowlitz River should remain a hatchery production river system because of the Dams limiting access to spawning habitat. Hatchery production is part of a negotiated agreement with Tacoma City Light for destroying the river. Economies depend on these agreements.
• Cowlitz River summer and winter steelhead fishing generates millions of dollars for small local communities and the State of Washington. This area depends on these hatchery programs and the state benefits significantly.
• Hatchery reform should focus on rivers that have the capacity and habitat to support wild fish runs. Bonneville Power has credible studies that wild fish passage by the Cowlitz River dams is a losing battle. It won’t work.
• The Cowlitz River can play a “KEY” role in restoring wild fish runs by creating less pressure on other rivers where we are attempting to restore wild runs. People need a place to fish and our economy needs the revenue it generates.
• Idaho has demonstrated it can plant millions of hatchery reared steelhead in the Clearwater and Salmon Rivers and still maintain healthy wild populations. Why can Idaho have strong hatchery returns and millions of dollars in economic benefits and we cannot.
• The new director should review the history of our Cowlitz River Fisheries and the philosophical management approach the Department has taken on the Cowlitz River for the last 15 years. We hope a new vision and direction can be achieved that benefits all interests and restore the economic benefits of the Cowlitz.

Natural Resources Building
1111 Washington St. SE
Olympia, Washington 98501
Show up by 8:00 am and be ready to speak at the scheduled public input time at 8:30 am.

Chinook Salmon chum Salmon as well as Coho Salmon Fall Chinook Native Steelhead Summer run Steelhead summer steelhead are Trophy Sturgeon for up river brights catching winterrun Steelhead.
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