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June 25, 2010
Contact: Region 5 Office, (360) 696-6211

Sturgeon fishery extended in Columbia River estuary

OLYMPIA – Anglers will get at least 15 more days to catch white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary, beginning June 27.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon, in a joint state meeting Thursday, agreed to extend the fishery after assessing catch data for the year to date.

The states’ action rescinds a closure scheduled June 27 and allows anglers to catch and retain legal-size white sturgeon through July 11 between the mouth of the Columbia and the Wauna powerlines near Cathlamet.

Those additional fishing days are designed to give anglers an opportunity to catch an estimated 6,550 sturgeon still available for harvest in the recreational fishery, said Brad James, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The catch guideline for that season is 9,600 fish.

"Both angler participation and sturgeon catch has been below expectations for the season," James said. "That left room for some extra fishing days."

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. Fishery managers will review the catch data after July 11 to determine if additional fishing opportunity is available under the catch guideline.