600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
June 24, 2011
Contact: Region 5 Office, (360) 696-6211
Sturgeon season extended in Columbia River
estuary; days added to Bonneville Pool fishery
OLYMPIA – Anglers will get additional days to retain white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary and in the Bonneville Pool.
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon, in a joint state meeting Thursday, announced those decisions after assessing catch data for both fisheries.
By the states’ action, anglers will be allowed to catch and retain legal-size white sturgeon between the mouth of the Columbia River and the Wauna powerlines near Cathlamet through July 31, or until the harvest guideline is reached. The fishery, which opened in May, was originally scheduled to close June 27 and then re-open for four more days of fishing from July 1-4.
The additional fishing days are designed to give anglers an opportunity to catch an estimated 5,570 sturgeon still available for harvest in the estuary, said Brad James, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The catch guideline for that area is 6,800 fish.
“We plan to meet again July 13 to review the catch data for the estuary,” James said. “If the catch is greater than expected, modifications to the fishery may be necessary.”
Anglers fishing the estuary have a daily catch limit of one white sturgeon, with a fork-length measurement of 41 inches to 54 inches. All green sturgeon must be released.
Anglers also will be allowed to catch and retain legal-size white sturgeon June 30-July 2 and July 7-9 from the Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam. Anglers fishing the Bonneville Pool will have a daily catch limit of one white sturgeon, with a fork-length measurement of 38 inches to 54 inches.
An estimated 373 white sturgeon are still available for harvest in the Bonneville Pool sport fishery, James said. The guideline for that area is 2,000 white sturgeon.