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Lower Columbia River Sturgeon Fishery Closes

Sturgeon fishing closes in lower Columbia,
opens June 23 for one day in Bonneville Pool

OLYMPIA – The retention fishery for white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary closed today at 2 p.m., but anglers will get an additional day to catch and keep sturgeon upriver Friday, June 23 in the Bonneville Pool.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon approved both actions after comparing catch-to-date to the harvest guidelines for sturgeon fisheries in both areas.

As of today, the cumulative catch by anglers fishing from the Wauna power lines downstream to the mouth of the Columbia is expected to reach – or slightly exceed – the 3,000-fish harvest guideline for the lower river.

As a result, both states agreed to cancel a final day of fishing in previously scheduled Saturday, June 17, said Ron Roler, a fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"The combined catch in the lower river rose somewhat more quickly than expected," Roler said. "We knew this would be a popular fishery, and that's definitely turned out to be the case."

The fishery, open three days a week since June 5, marked the first time in three years that anglers have been allowed to catch and keep white sturgeon below Bonneville Dam. Closed in 2014 to allow stocks to rebuild, the fishery opened on a limited basis this year based on indications that the area's sturgeon population has grown each year since then.

The lower Columbia River remains open to catch-and-release fishing.

Meanwhile, fishery managers agreed to open the Bonneville Pool on Friday, June 23 for one more day of summer retention fishing. The catch assessment shows that 144 sturgeon are still available for harvest under that area's 325-fish harvest guideline.

Anglers are limited to one sturgeon per day, measuring 38 to 54 inches from their snout to the tip of their tail.

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