Swift Reservoir outside of Cougar, WA near Mount St. Helens is a popular fishing spot for fishermen. A fish passage project, now in its third year, has postponed fishing this year on Swift and the Lewis River north of the reservoir until June 7, 2014.
The goal of the project is to allow salmon to spawn naturally above the dams. Fish are attracted and sorted below Merwin Dam and then travel by a specially designed truck up stream to Eagle Cliff Park. Once at the park the salmon are released into the water and continue to spawn up stream in the Lewis River and its tributaries.
This area is also recognized for its Bull Trout population. Years ago the Bull Trout was a legal fish to keep but are now considered a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered species act. Signs posted along the reservoirs and rivers remind fishermen that they are in Bull Trout Country and if "you don't know, let it go". The project in its entirety is estimated to cost the utility companies upwards of $50 million dollars. Many believe this is a small price to pay for these vital conservation efforts.
The closest services are in Cougar, WA or Eagle Cliff Store and Campground that is located less than 1/4 mile from the Lewis River. Services include cabins, campsites, premium non ethanol gasoline and a general store. Reservations for the cabins, and campsites may be made online at http://www.eaglecliffcamp.com .