This news wasn’t unexpected as spring chinook returns to these two tributaries of Lower Columbia River were expected to be on the lean side in 2014.
State Fish and Wildlife announced that the starting Feb. 17 anglers must release spring chinook in the Lewis and Kalama rivers.
The Lewis spring chinook forecast is a paltry return of 1,100 adult fish, and an escapement goal of about 1,350 fish is needed.
From Feb. 17 until further notice, all chinook must be released on Lewis River mainstem from mouth to the mouth of the East Fork, and on the North Fork Lewis River from mouth of the East Fork to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam.
From Feb. 17 through May 31, fishing is closed to all angling on the North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek (located downstream from the Lewis River Salmon Hatchery) upstream to Merwin Dam.
The Lewis River mianstem and North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek downstream will remain open for hatchery steelhead.
The North Fork Lewis River from Johnson Creek upstream will reopen to fishing for hatchery steelhead June 1.
On the Kalama the forecast is 500 adult spring chinook with an escapement goal of about 450 fish.
Spring chinook must be released Feb. 17 until further notice from boundary markers at the mouth to 1,000 feet above the fishway at the upper salmon hatchery (Kalama Falls).
The Lower Kalama will remain open for hatchery steelhead.