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September 23, 2003
Contact: Brad James (360) 906-6716

High sturgeon catches force changes to lower Columbia River fisheries

VANCOUVER, Wash. - Because of high catches in the lower Columbia River recreational fishery, anglers will have to continue releasing sturgeon on one portion of the river, and will have two months less to retain those they catch on another portion.

The management actions were taken today in a meeting between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Under the changes approved today:

  • The portion of the river from the Wauna powerlines (near the community of Cathlamet) downstream to the mouth will remain closed to sturgeon retention through the end of the year;

  • The portion of the river from the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam will close to sturgeon retention Nov. 1.

All waters from Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam are currently closed to sturgeon retention.

Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is still allowed in those areas closed to retention, said Brad James, WDFW fisheries biologist.

James said the Columbia River is scheduled to re-open to sturgeon retention Jan. 1 from the mouth upstream to the McNary Dam.