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News / Sports / Outdoors

Field notes: Fishing at Swift Reservoir begins next week

Plus watch for weekday trail closures on Mount St. Helens trails

The Columbian
Published: May 18, 2024, 6:01am

Fishing season at popular Swift Reservoir on the North Fork of the Lewis River begins its six-month run on May 25.

Angling will be open daily through Nov. 30. Trout must be at least 8 inches to retain and the daily limit is 10 fish. Only trout with a clipped adipose fin may be retained.

Swift also contains small salmon as a result of the salmon and steelhead reintroduction effort in the upper North Fork of the Lewis. Salmon retained count as part of the daily limit. Any salmon larger than 15 inches must be released.

Swift Reservoir is about 4,500 acres. The only boat ramp is at Swift Forest Camp at the upper end of the lake. Pacificorp, operator of the three Lewis River reservoirs, charges a $4 day-use parking fee at Swift Forest Camp.

The lake typically is planted with about 35,000 rainbow trout.

Currently, Swift is at 998 feet elevation. Full pool is 1,000 feet and most boats can be launched at elevations as low as 975 feet before running out of paved ramp.

Weekday closure of Mount St. Helens trails

Five trails in the Windy Ridge-Spirit Lake area on the northeast side of Mount St. Helens will be closed weekdays now through Oct. 31 and through 2027. The U.S. Forest Service says the closures are needed while work is under way to replace the Spirit Lake tunnel intake gate.

The closures will include:

  • The southern portion of the Windy Ridge parking area for contractor equipment staging.
  • The extension of Gifford Pinchot National Forest road No. 99 from Windy Ridge to the trailhead for Truman trail No. 207.
  • Truman trail No. 207 from Windy trail No. 216E to Boundary trail No. 1.
  • Plains of Abraham trail No. 216D from Loowit trail No. 216 to the road No. 99 extension.
  • Windy trail No. 216E from Truman trail No. 207 to Loowit trail No. 216.
  • Willow Springs trail No. 207A from Loowit trail No. 216 to Truman trail No. 207.
  • Harry’s Ridge trail No. 1E.

Visitors can expect to see large construction equipment and materials. Dust may be seen from various locations on the Mount St, Helens National Volcanic Monument. Motorists will encounters large vehicles on road No. 99.

Fishery reports


Cowlitz River I-5 bridge downstream — 63 bank rods kept six steelhead; one boat/three rods kept one jack and released on Chinook.

Cowlitz River above the I-5 bridge — 11 bank rods had no catch.

Kalama River — 18 bank rods kept one Chinook; 21 boats/54 rods kept 16 Chinook, two jacks, released on Chinook and one steelhead.

Wind River — 158 boats/534 rods kept 221 Chinook, four jacks, released two Chinook and one jack.

Drano Lake — 17 bank rods released one Chinook; 161 boats/581 rods kept 207 Chinook, four jacks and released three Chinook.

Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge — Nine bank rods had no catch.