WDFW Region 5 office, 360-696-6211
OLYMPIA – The section of the Columbia River between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam will close to white sturgeon retention effective 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, state fishery managers announced today.
Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington agreed to close the Bonneville Pool to retention of white sturgeon after updated catch estimates showed that the area has reached its 500-fish quota.
“We saw significant effort in this fishery immediately after it opened, and catch rates were very high,” said Laura Heironimus, sturgeon lead with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Warm water and mild weather, combined with the holiday weekend, let to a busy few days on the water.”
Fishery managers estimate harvest by interviewing boat and bank anglers to determine respective catch rates – as well as information like what species are caught, length of time fished, and where they fished – and counting bank anglers and boats on the water to determine effort level.
WDFW enforcement officers also made nearly 400 contacts over the weekend between the Dalles Pool (located between The Dalles Dam and John Day Dam) and Bonneville Pool.
The Dalles Pool also closed to sturgeon retention earlier this week. Bonneville Pool and The Dalles Pool remain open for catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon, as do many other stretches of the Columbia.
The John Day Pool (between John Day Dam and McNary Dam) remains open to sturgeon retention until its 105-fish guideline is met.
Anglers should consult the 2020-21 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations for permanent regulations, and check for any emergency rule updates at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.
WDFW is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.