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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


April 02, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby (360) 902-2256

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Sturgeon anglers face new regulations on April 5

OLYMPIA -- Recreational anglers must release sturgeon caught in the Columbia River and its tributaries from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam as of April 5, fish managers in Washington and Oregon announced today.

Officials estimate the guideline quota of 1,520 sturgeon in the Bonneville Reservoir will be caught by April 5. Anglers may continue to fish for sturgeon in the reservoir, but all sturgeon must be released unharmed immediately.

The Columbia and its tributaries from The Dalles Dam upstream to McNary Dam will remain open to sturgeon fishing until further notice.

Harvest guidelines for sturgeon were set in 1991 for recreational and treaty Indian commercial fisheries to prevent the over-harvest of fish trapped between Bonneville and McNary dams. The Washington and Oregon departments of Fish and Wildlife in 1995 adopted permanent regulations that allow sturgeon retention only during the first half of each year to keep the sport harvest within the guidelines.

Increased fishing efforts and improved catch rates, especially in the Bonneville Reservoir, resulted in early closures during the last three years.

Department biologists see signs that sturgeon populations are increasing and this year the sport harvest guideline for Bonneville reservoir was increased to 1,520 sturgeon from the previous guideline of 1,350. The 1997 guidelines for the Dalles Reservoir was increased to 200 sturgeon from 100. The John Day Reservoir guideline was increased to 560 sturgeon from 100.