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April 30, 1997
Contact: Chuck Bolland (360) 902-2255

The Dalles Reservoir sturgeon catch reaches quota

OLYMPIA -- All sturgeon caught by recreational anglers from The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam in the Columbia River, and its tributaries, must be released beginning May 5.

The regulation follows recommendations from Washington and Oregon fishery managers. The managers estimate the harvest guideline of 200 sturgeon will be caught by May 4.

Harvest guidelines for sturgeon were set in 1991 for recreational and treaty Indian commercial fishers to prevent over-harvesting fish trapped between Bonneville and McNary dams.

Biologists from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are seeing signs that sturgeon populations are beginning to recover. The recovery has allowed an increase in the recreational harvest for The Dalles Reservoir to 200 fish in 1997 from the previous quota of 100. The harvest guideline for Bonneville Reservoir was increased to 1,520 sturgeon from last year's guideline of 1,350. In addition, the John Day Reservoir quota was increased to 560 fish this year from 100 last year.

The Columbia River, from Bonneville Dam upstream to the Dalles Dam was closed to sturgeon harvest on April 5. The area of the river from John Day Dam, upstream to McNary Dam, will remain open until the 560 sturgeon quota is reached.

Recreational fishing for sturgeon may continue in the closed areas. However, all sturgeon must be released unharmed.