SALEM, Ore. Fishery managers will seek public comments on issues affecting Columbia River white sturgeon management and fisheries at meetings scheduled next week in Longview and two locations in Oregon.
The three meetings, sponsored by the Oregon and Washington fish and wildlife departments, are designed to share information on developments that will shape sturgeon management starting next year.
The meetings are scheduled at the following times and locations:
- Longview: Dec. 6, 6 8:30 p.m. Cowlitz Co. Public Utility District, 961 12th Ave.
- Clackamas: Dec. 7, 6 8:30 p.m. ODFW Northwest Region Headquarters, 17330 S.E. Evelyn St.
- Astoria: Dec. 9, 6 8:30 p.m. Holiday Inn Express, 204 West Marine Dr.
Fishery managers scheduled the public meetings as part of joint efforts by Oregon and Washington to develop plans for future white sturgeon management and fisheries. Final decisions including catch guidelines for sport and commercial fisheries are expected early next year.
Joint monitoring by both states indicates a decline in the abundance of Columbia River white sturgeon in recent years, said Cindy LeFleur, Columbia River policy coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Increased predation by sea lions is one significant factor affecting all segments of the sturgeon population, she said.
Given the current trend, we may have to consider more conservative fishing seasons, LeFleur said. But we want to make sure the public has a chance to comment on the issues involved before we develop harvest guidelines for the next two years.