SALEM — Oregon fishery managers announced today that the statewide annual bag limit for sturgeon will go to two fish effective April 1, 2013.
Since Jan. 1, the annual statewide bag limit has been one legal white sturgeon total for all zones statewide. According to Steve Williams, ODFW fish division deputy director, the increased bag limit is in response to a recent decision by the State of Washington to set its statewide annual sturgeon limit at two for 2013.
“The concurrent regulations should eliminate the confusion about how many sturgeon can be retained by anglers with licenses from both Oregon and Washington,” Williams said.
“While the new bag limit in Washington isn’t scheduled to go into effect until May 1, we understand the state is considering a temporary rule that would push up the effective date to April 1 to match Oregon’s action,” Williams added.
Fish that have been caught and retained since Jan. 1 will count toward the new two fish bag limit.
Anglers also are reminded that in addition to using barbless hooks for sturgeon, they are now required to use barbless hooks for all salmon, steelhead and trout fishing in the Columbia River, Willamette River below Willamette Falls, and several tributaries. Though the new barbless rule went into effect Jan. 1, so far only about 80 percent of anglers are complying with the new barbless hook rule, said Lt. Dave Anderson, Oregon State Police.
“With the spring chinook season heating up and the number of anglers increasing, we’ll be stepping up our enforcement efforts,” Anderson said.
Anglers can find a complete list of waters covered by the new barbless hook rule on the ODFW Website.