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Smelt lovers, feathered, furred and gaiter-wearing, go for a dip in Cowlitz River

Brief window for fishing draws crowd of hopefuls

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 6, 2024, 2:02pm
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12 Photos
Jia Liu of Auburn is all smiles as he snags a smelt along the Cowlitz River on Tuesday afternoon.
Jia Liu of Auburn is all smiles as he snags a smelt along the Cowlitz River on Tuesday afternoon. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

LONGVIEW — Thousands of eager anglers lined the banks of the Cowlitz River from Kelso to Castle Rock on Tuesday hoping to score a net full of smelt.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife opened smelt fishing on the river from 1 to 6 p.m., drawing people from across the state and even Oregon.

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