June 28, 2012
CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington today decided to close the white sturgeon season in the lower Columbia River estuary on July 5, four days earlier than previously scheduled.
The closure applies to the Columbia River from its mouth at Buoy 10 upstream approximately 40 miles to the Wauna power lines.
Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife acted today based on creel survey data that indicated catch rates have improved significantly. Anglers are projected to achieve their annual harvest guideline of 4,160 white sturgeon by July 2 and 4,400 by July 4. As of June 24, 2,820 white sturgeon had been harvested with catch rates during June exceeding 100 white sturgeon per day.
“We have a little flexibility in the way that we allocate the remaining sturgeon guideline and allowing families to get out and enjoy the resource over the Fourth of July is an appropriate use of that flexibility,” said Steve Williams, deputy administrator of ODFW’s Fish Division.
Sturgeon fishing in the estuary is currently open seven days a week with a daily bag limit of one fish with a fork length of 41 to 54 inches.
Sturgeon retention remains open from Wauna power lines upstream to Navigation Marker 82 (~9 miles below Bonneville Dam) three days a week (Thu.-Sat.) through July 31 and the entire area from Wauna power lines upstream to Bonneville Dam is scheduled to reopen Oct. 20-Dec. 31. Above Bonneville, sturgeon retention is closed, except between The Dalles and John Day dams, which is open seven days a week.