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Old 08-03-2000, 07:05 PM
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ReEvolution of the Cowlitz

Thought you might find this interesting. A long-time state fisheries biologist and avid flyfisher wrote this. posted 08-03-2000 12:01 PM
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Hey guys,
The Cowlitz meeting in Chehalis tonight made me think of something I just heard the other day. Over 200 (!) wild steelhead returned to the Cowlitz River this season and were passed into the upper river. Also, about 200 surplus later winter run hatchery fish were also transferred to the upper river. So a little over 400 steelhead went to the upper Cowlitz and Cispus Rivers this year and deposited eggs in the gravel the old fashioned way! Obviously, there's a long way to go, but I think this is a pretty cool start.

Oh, and a really interesting thing is that wild steelhead smolts had a three times higher survival rate than their hatchery cousins. Surprised?

And they continue to get better at collecting downstream migrants (the most important part of restoration) at Cowlitz Falls. WDFW transported over 19,000 spring chinook smolts (so far), 105,000 coho, 16,000 steelhead, and 1,300 cutthroat smolts around the dams this spring.

On the Cowlitz, the times they are a changin'.

Sincerely,

Salmo g.
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