State to allow two rods at six Southwest Washington salmon waters

By Allen Thomas, Columbian outdoors reporter

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Anglers will be allowed to use two rods for salmon and steelhead at six spots in Southwest Washington during various times of the year.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved sport fishing with two rods at the following spots and times:

Wind River — May 1 through June 30 from the white buoy line to the BNSF railroad bridge.

Drano Lake — May 12 through June 30 and Sept. 15 through Dec. 31.

Camas Slough — Aug. 1 through Dec. 31. The slough is the portion of the Columbia River that flows between Lady Island and the Washington shore.

North Fork Lewis River — Year-round from the forks to Johnson Creek.

Lewis River — Year-round from the BNSF railroad bridge to the forks.

Cowlitz River — Year-round from the Lexington Bridge to Toledo Bridge.

The new sport-fishing regulation cycle begins May 1.

The 2010 Legislature approved a two-pole endorsement, which for $14.30 permits anglers to fish with a second rod. So far, it has been limited mostly to lakes and reservoirs.

State officials presented a list of 10 Columbia River tributaries where two rods might be feasible at a public meeting in mid-March.

Spots culled from that list include the Klickitat, Washougal, Kalama, Grays, Elochoman and Deep rivers.

Pat Frazier, regional fish program manager, said the initial list included some steelhead fisheries, while the final selections target on coho and chinook.

“We also picked places where we have hatchery production to support the fishery,’’ he said.

None of the two-pole locations are subject to catch guidelines or quotas.

“We’re trying a couple of river mouths, a couple of rivers, mostly bigger waters with space so this doesn’t create problems,’’ Frazier said. “We also picked time frames past the peak of the fisheries where the effort is starting to fall off.’’