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.