OLYMPIA -- Until further notice, anglers will be able to keep sturgeon they catch
in the Columbia River, between John Day and McNary dams.
The decision follows recommendations from Washington Department of Fish
and Wildlife (WDFW) fishery managers, who reported only half of the 560 fish quota
had been harvested. Both Washington and Oregon recreational anglers may continue
to keep sturgeon between four and five feet long until the quota is met. The season
had been scheduled to close July 1.
WDFW biologists will continue monitoring the fishery in John Day Reservoir, and
will announce a closing date once quota is reached.
Anglers are advised that the Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to
John Day Dam continues to be closed to sturgeon fishing except for catch-and-release.
Harvest limits for sturgeon were set in 1991 for recreational, as well as tribal
commercial fishers to prevent over harvesting between Bonneville and McNary dams.
Biologists from both Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife agencies said
there are signs that sturgeon populations are growing. Test fisheries have shown
increased numbers of sturgeon over the past five years.