Two Columbia sturgeon fisheries will close early
CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Two Columbia River white sturgeon fisheries will close earlier than expected under rules adopted today by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington.
Sturgeon retention will close effective Friday, June 21 from the Wauna power lines downstream 40 miles to the river mouth at Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries. This season was originally scheduled to continue through June 30.
The summer sturgeon retention season from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam was reduced by one day to Friday, June 21 only. Previously, this fishery was scheduled to be open June 22 as well but that day was eliminated from the season.
The early closures are the result of heavier than expected harvest in the two fisheries, which are quickly reaching their management guidelines.
Sturgeon retention will continue seven days a week from The Dalles Dam to John Day Dam and from John Day Dam to McNary Dam until harvest guidelines in these areas are met. A third area, from McNary Dam upstream to the Oregon/Washington border, will remain open through July 31. The legal size limit for retention in these areas is 43-54 inches fork length.
Sturgeon retention is currently closed from the Wauna power lines upstream to Bonneville. That fishery is scheduled to reopen Oct. 19. However, only 40 fish remain on the preseason guideline of 2,021 due to heavier than expected catch rates from the beginning of the year through June 15.
The lower Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls, including the Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River, will open to retention of white sturgeon as previously planned, from Thursday through Saturday, July 11-13 and July 18-20, with a retention guideline of 1,733 fish. Angling for sturgeon is prohibited during May-August on the Willamette from the I-205 Bridge upstream to Willamette Falls, which has been designated as a sturgeon spawning sanctuary. Retention of white sturgeon is allowed year-round upstream of Willamette Falls.
Anglers are reminded the annual white sturgeon bag limit is two fish statewide.
For more information visit ODFW’s regulations update page on the Internet at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/index.asp.