OLYMPIA – This year’s recreational fishery for white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary has been extended for the second time, giving anglers 18 more days of fishing.
After closing July 11 at the end of the first extension, the fishery will reopen from July 15 through Aug. 1 under a new agreement reached by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.
That extension, like the first one, is based on data that show this year’s catch is still well below this year’s 9,600-fish harvest guideline.
“Both the catch and the number of anglers fishing the estuary have fallen short of expectations this the season,” said Brad James, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “As a result, we feel we can safety extend the season for a second time, while holding the total harvest within the annual quota.”
The area affected by the states’ action extends from the mouth of the Columbia upriver to the Wauna powerlines near Cathlamet. As of July 11, when the initial 11-day extension ended, anglers had taken only about 3,900 sturgeon from that area.
As during the regular season, the daily catch limit is one white sturgeon, with a fork-length measurement of 41 inches to 54 inches. All green sturgeon must be released.