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April 10, 1998
Contact: Chuck Bolland (360) 902-2255

New sturgeon regulations

OLYMPIA -- Sturgeon caught in the Columbia River and its tributaries by recreational anglers, from Bonneville Dam up stream to The Dalles Dam, must be released beginning April 20.

Washington and Oregon fish managers estimate the guideline of 1,520 sturgeon from the Bonneville Reservoir will be caught by April 20. Anglers may continue to fish in the reservoir, but all sturgeon must be immediately released unharmed.

Harvest guidelines for sturgeon were set in 1991 for recreational and treaty tribe commercial fisheries to prevent the over harvest of sturgeon trapped between Bonneville and McNary dams on the Columbia River. The Washington and Oregon agencies 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 and improved catch rates, especially in the Bonneville Reservoir, has resulted in early closures during the last four years.

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