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States extend winter sturgeon season in Bonneville Pool

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Anglers will have an additional 14 days of winter sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River between Bonneville and The Dalles dams this year under rules adopted today by fishery managers from Oregon and Washington.

Under the extended season, anglers will be allowed to catch and retain sturgeon seven days a week from Feb. 24 through March 9.

The rules were approved following surveys that showed lower than expected sturgeon harvest so far in 2014. Biologists attributed the lower harvest numbers to reduced angler effort and catch rates associated with windy and cold weather on the Columbia during the January and February sturgeon retention seasons.

To date, anglers have harvested an estimated 180 white sturgeon, or 16 percent of the 1,100 fish annual guideline for the Bonneville Pool recreational fishery. Last December, the two states adopted a split-season approach for this fishery where about half of the annual harvest guideline was reserved for the winter season and half for harvest during a summer fishery. The summer retention season has not been set but is expected to take place in June.

Retention sturgeon fisheries are currently under way and will continue seven days a week in The Dalles and John Day pools until harvest guidelines of 300 and 500 sturgeon, respectively, are achieved.

The bag limit in all three areas is one sturgeon per day and two for the year. Sturgeon must be between 38 and 54 inches fork length to be retained in Bonneville Pool and 43-54 inches fork length upstream of The Dalles Dam.

For more information about Oregon’s recreational fisheries, visit ODFW’s website at www.dfw.state.or.us.

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