Rules Category: Eastern Washington and Columbia Region Freshwater
Species covered in proposed rule • Not species specific
Rule to Change: None
New Rule Proposal: All angling is prohibited from Feb. 1 through Apr. 30 from a line between the upstream end of Sand Island, located east of Rooster Rock State Park, to a marker on the Oregon shore, downstream to a line between the lower end of Sand Island and a marker on the Oregon shore
Why the change is needed: Sturgeon congregate in this shallow area during the spring/winter months. High harvests and snagging problems have prompted emergency regulations the past several few years. This proposal would make this regulation permanent.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change: John North - ODFW
Describe their support and/or concerns:
ODFW is also proposing to adopt this as a permanent rule. Washington and Oregon would have concurrent regulations.
Submitted by: LEFLEUR, CINDY — ,
Date submitted: 06/13/2012
WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation
Recommended for Public Comment Reference ID: DFW459005
Rule Change Recommendation Short Title Statewide white sturgeon rules
Rules Category Statewide
Type of Rule Change Proposal Conservation
County or Location Information
Short Description This proposal modifies rules for white sturgeon that will be developed through a series of public meetings and Commission guidance for the purpose of managing harvest and fisheries. Possible options include, but are not limited to: changes in 1)areas and/or times including catch and release only; 2) size limits; 3) 2 fish annual limit; 4) terminal gear (i.e., circle hooks, etc.).
Explanation Abundance and productivity of white sturgeon inhabiting or originating from the lower Columbia River has declined substantially over the past five years due in part to long-term reductions in key food resources and predation by Steller sea lions. Washington and Oregon fishery managers responded by decreasing annual harvest guidelines in the lower Columbia River by 40% in 2010, 29% in 2011, and 39% in 2012 (74% reduction from 2009 levels). Corresponding reductions have been implemented to guidelines for Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor and a seasonal retention closure was implemented in 2012 for Puget Sound fisheries. The intent of these actions is to stabilize and rebuild the white sturgeon population. Assessments are conducted each summer to monitor population responses to management actions. Results of the surveys become available mid-fall and additional restrictions may be needed if the population does not respond as intended. Recent management actions have focused on retention seasons and no-fishing spawning sanctuaries. Changes to general statewide rules for sturgeon should be part of the suite of actions available to managers and stakeholders. Corresponding changes to sturgeon rules have been considered by Oregon and on September 7, 2012 the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission approved a reduction in the Oregon annual bag limit to 2 fish effective January 1, 2013.