Fishing & Hunting Report: Hunting Permit Deadline; Kress Lake Safety Day; Cowlitz Uneven

By Kimberly Mason
For The Chronicle
Special hunting permit applications are available for deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, wild turkey, cougar, and black bear. Applications are due tomorrow, May 18.
It is a weighted-point permit drawing system; applicants who were not selected in the past have a better chance to be drawn.

Applications may be purchased from license vendors or on WDFW’s website at Applications must be submitted on that website or by calling 1-877-945-3492.
Instructions and details on applying for special-permit hunts are described on pages 84-85 of the 2012-13 hunting regs pamphlet.

WDFW Kress Lake Safety Day
Kress Lake, north of Kalama in Cowlitz County, will close to public fishing all day May 18 and until 6 p.m. May 19 in order to accommodate the crowds expected to attend the WDFW Kress Lake Safety Day program.
The Kress Lake Safety Day program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, children ages 4-14 will fish at a netted section at the lake after finishing a safety course.
For more information contact John Weinheimer, District 9 WDFW Fish Biologist, (360)906-6746.

Rivers, Lakes, Streams and Saltwater
“Except for Mayfield, all the lakes are fishing well,” said Charles McElroy, sporting goods clerk at Sunbird Shopping Center.
Riffe Lake is still producing good numbers of silvers. Try your luck with the same ol’ stuff, says Marshall Borsom of Fish Country in Ethel — cocktail shrimp, worms and white corn.
Trout planted lowland lakes in April have started to acclimatize to the local food on the menu, it’s time to switch up from dough baits and try your luck with flies, said McElroy.
“Use spinning gear with a bubble above a swivel with a bead,” McElroy advised. “Use a 3 to 4-foot leader with an olive or black woolly bugger or woolly worm. Cast it out, let it sit for a second, then start twitching it back to shore.”
American and Merwin are still fishing well for kokanee.
“But they’re still pretty small,” said McElroy.
Local and out-of-town anglers have been expressing considerable frustration over the constant raising and lowering of the Cowlitz River.
“They put ‘em off the bite when they jack the water up and down,” said McElroy.
“Boaters and bank anglers alike are catching fish — not limits for everyone, but the guys putting in their time are hooking up.,” said Borsom.
Last week Tacoma Power recovered 236 winter-run steelhead, 229 spring Chinook adults, 13 jacks and 56 summer-run steelhead during five days of operation at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
During the past week Tacoma Power employees released 104 spring Chinook adults, ten jacks and 9 winter-run steelhead at the Day Use Park in Lake Scanewa above Cowlitz Falls Dam. They released five spring Chinook adults and three winter-run steelhead into the Cispus River above the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek, and released 19 spring Chinook adults and two winter-run steelhead into the upper Cowlitz River at Packwood, Washington.
Scanewa Lake does not open for fishing until June 1.
The South Fork of the Toutle, from the mouth to the 4100 Rd. Bridge, closed to fishing May 16 and will remain closed until June 1.

Kimberly Mason is a freelance writer and photojournalist. Visit her website The (Almost) Daily News (, find her on Facebook (Kimberly Mason — The Chronicle), call 269-5017 or email