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Oregon, Washington adopt 2010 sturgeon, smelt fishing rules
 
December 21, 2009

 

CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington adopted 2010 sturgeon and smelt fishing regulations Thursday during a joint state hearing in Kelso, Wash.

Current rules regulating the harvest of white sturgeon on the Columbia River were left unchanged from 2009 while representatives from the two states negotiate an agreement on 2010 harvest objectives. The new agreement is expected to lead to a reduction in the harvest guidelines due to reduced abundance of legal and sub-legal sized fish. Following adoption of the 2010 objectives, managers plan to revisit sturgeon regulations at their next joint state hearing, which is scheduled for Feb. 18, 2010.

Until the states modify the sturgeon rules, retention of sturgeon with a fork length of 38-54 inches is allowed three days a week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – on the Columbia from Bonneville Dam downstream 105 miles to the Wauna power lines. These rules also apply on the Willamette River and Multnomah Channel. Below Wauna, retention of 38-54” fork length sturgeon is allowed seven days a week beginning January 1. Above Bonneville, retention is allowed seven days a week beginning January 1.  Sport fisherman may retain one legal-sized sturgeon a day and up to five sturgeon for the year.

In response to continued low smelt returns, fishery managers lowered the daily bag on the Columbia River to 10 pounds, down from 25 pounds previously. The state of Washington has not yet set seasons or bag limits for the popular Cowlitz River smelt fishery or other tributaries of the Columbia.

At their next meeting, fishery managers from the two states also plan to set spring chinook salmon seasons. Those seasons will be set in light of the largest forecast for the upriver spring chinook since 1938. During the Feb. 18 meeting, Oregon will likely announce its plans for spring chinook fishing regulations on the Willamette, which will probably include a seven-day-a-week season and two-fish bag limit, according to Steve Williams, deputy director of ODFW’s fish division.  The Willamette River opens under those same rules January 1, 2010, under permanent angling rules.

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Contact:

Chris Kern (971) 673-6031
John North (971) 673-6029
Rick Swart (971) 673-6038

Fax: (503) 947-6009
 
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