January 17, 2012
CLACKAMAS, Ore. – ODFW fishery managers announced today the white sturgeon retention season on the Lower Willamette River (including Multnomah Channel and the Gilbert River) will be open Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 24-25.
The shortened harvest season is in response to a continued decline in the abundance of legal-sized fish in both the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Last week, the directors of Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife agreed on a reduction in the harvest rate for both rivers from 22.5 percent to 16 percent for 2012. That’s a 38 percent reduction in the number of fish that can be harvested from the Willamette, and a 2012 harvest guideline between 1,768 and 2,022 fish.
“Our goal is to open a four-day fishery,” said Steve Williams, ODFW deputy administrator for marine and Columbia River fisheries. “However, we’ll be monitoring the fishery closely to make sure we stay within the harvest guideline.”
“With the high angling effort and high catch rates we’ve seen the past few years, we are expecting a very short season,” he said.
The season just announced applies to the Willamette River below the Falls in Oregon City. Anglers are reminded that the daily bag limit is one fish with a fork length between 38 and 54 inches.