OLYMPIA - Starting June 11, anglers must release any white sturgeon they catch on the Columbia River between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Based on current catch rates, fishery managers in Washington and Oregon estimate the sport fishery will reach the 700-fish harvest guideline by that date for that section of the river, said Dennis Gilliland, WDFW fish biologist.
"Fishing picked up in the past few weeks, particularly in the Bonneville Reservoir," Gilliland said. "That moved the fishery toward the guideline faster than expected."
After June 10, anglers can still fish for white sturgeon between the two dams on a catch-and-release basis, Gilliland said. They also will still be allowed to retain one white sturgeon per day caught between The Dalles Dam and McNary Dam.
"The area upstream from The Dalles Dam has its own harvest guideline," Gilliland said. "Fishing has been improving there, too, and should remain open to retention through late June."
Under current regulations, the minimum size limit for retaining white sturgeon caught between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam is 42 inches, with a maximum size limit of 60 inches. Above The Dalles Dam, retention of white sturgeon is limited to fish measuring at least 48 inches but no more than 60 inches in length.