OLYMPIA – Columbia River anglers will be allowed to catch and keep white sturgeon in the Bonneville Pool four days in June under an agreement reached Tuesday (May 14) by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.
The fishery will open to legal-size sturgeon June 14-15 and June 21-22 in the Columbia River and its tributaries from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam.
Only white sturgeon measuring 38 inches to 54 inches (fork length) may be retained.
The sturgeon fishery in the Bonneville Pool has been restricted to catch-and-release fishing only, because the catch guideline for the early season was met last winter. A balance of 700 fish are still available for harvest this summer under the annual harvest guideline of 1,100 for those waters.
Ron Roler, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said fishery managers will closely monitor the catch to determine if the harvest guideline will accommodate additional retention fishing in the Bonneville Pool.
Additional sturgeon fishing opportunities in the Columbia River are described in WDFW’s Fish Washington sport fishing rules pamphlet, available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/.
In other news, fishery managers from WDFW and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are scheduled to meet May 20 at 4 p.m. to determine whether to approve additional fishing time for hatchery spring chinook salmon on the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.
Roler said about 1,400 are still available for harvest by the sport fishery in that area. An additional 1,200 fish are available for harvest by the commercial fishery.
Roler noted that those spring chinook salmon are still available for harvest, even though the projected size of the upriver run has been reduced from 141,400 to 107,500 fish.
“Fishery managers held back a substantial portion of the catch earlier in the season to ensure that the harvest would not exceed the annual catch guideline,” Roler said. “Now that we have a better idea of how many spring chinook salmon are actually returning, we’re in a position to consider reopening that fishery.”