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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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June 30, 2004
Contact: Brad James, (360) 906-6716

Sturgeon retention to be prohibited in Columbia River estuary

VANCOUVER, Wash.- Starting Sunday (July 4), anglers will be required to release all sturgeon caught in the Columbia River and its tributaries downstream from the Wauna power lines near Cathlamet, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced.

The retention closure is taking effect nearly three weeks before the previously adopted date of July 24 because the sport harvest guideline of 15,000 sturgeon is expected to be reached early.

"Sturgeon fishing has been excellent, and catch rates have been greater than projected," said Brad James, WDFW regional fish biologist.

The retention closure will remain in effect in the lower Columbia River through Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, anglers fishing for sturgeon in the river from the Wauna power lines upstream to Beacon Rock are allowed to keep their catch only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through July 31.

The river from Beacon Rock to Bonneville Dam remains completely closed to sturgeon fishing to protect spawning fish.