Columbia River fish managers today decided that the sturgeon sport fishery closure contemplated for the lower Columbia River downstream from the Wauna power lines in early September won't be needed this year.
Last month managers decided to rescind the closures in the second half of August downstream from Wauna and during November upstream from Wauna when it looked like the sturgeon sport catch was not as high as originally predicted. At that time, they announced that they would still consider a closure Sept. 1 to 15 downstream from Wauna this year if it appeared that the white sturgeon sport catch would otherwise exceed 40,000.
Today they decided that sturgeon retention in the lower Columbia River would not be curtailed at all to meet the catch guideline.
"The white sturgeon sport catch in the lower Columbia will likely be slightly under 40,000 this year", said John DeVore, Washington's lead sturgeon biologist. "We are happy that we won't have to disrupt the fishery to meet our management target. We also intend to add any unrealized catch less than 40,000 in this year's sport fishery to next year's catch guideline."