CLACKAMAS, ORE. – Fisheries managers from Oregon and Washington Departments of Fish and Wildlife have adopted rules for the 2008 white sturgeon recreational fishery that take effect Jan. 1.
The popular fishery from Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia River to the Wauna powerlines (river mile 40, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries) exceeded the 2007 guideline by approximately 2,900 fish, meaning that the 2008 guideline will be reduced by the same amount, leaving about 13,100 legal-size sturgeon available for harvest in 2008. The new regulation allows for the retention of white sturgeon seven days per week from Jan. 1 through Apr. 30 for sturgeon 42-60 inches. Retention of white sturgeon will be prohibited below the Wauna powerlines from May 1 through May 9. From May 10 through June 24 (or until the catch guideline is reached), retention will be allowed seven days per week for white sturgeon 45-60 inches total length.
From the Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam, the harvest guideline for 2008 will be set at 13,900 fish, which is 850 less than the 2007 catch but much higher than the 2006 catch of 9,750 fish. This area includes the lower Willamette River upstream to Willamette Falls (including Multnomah Channel) and all adjacent Washington tributaries. The 2008 regulation allows for the retention of sturgeon four days per week on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday effective Jan. 1 through July 31 and Oct. 1 through Dec. 31.
Catch limits and other restrictions listed in the current 2008 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations pamphlet remain in effect the entire year. Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited as per permanent regulations.
Fish managers set the Columbia River sturgeon fishery harvest guidelines based on recent population estimates, escapement needs, and harvest allocation agreements between area-specific fisheries. The states will review progress of the recreational sturgeon fisheries in June 2008 to determine if any season modifications are needed.
Additional information may also be found on ODFW's Web page at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OSCRP/CRM/index.asp