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LAKE ROOSEVELT STURGEON FISHERY OPENS ONCE AGAIN

posted by Mike on 06/06/2019

Lake Roosevelt sturgeon fishery opens for third year in a row

SPOKANE – The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will open a harvest fishery for white sturgeon in Lake Roosevelt starting June 15.

White Sturgeon, a species native to the Columbia River, are known for their large size, with adults growing in excess of 10 feet and weighing hundreds of pounds.

"This is the third year in a row that anglers have the opportunity to fish for white sturgeon in Lake Roosevelt," said Chris Donley, Region 1 Fish Program manager. "This is a great opportunity for anglers to get out and pursue one of the greatest native sportfish in Washington."

White sturgeon hatchery programs started in the early 2000s in British Columbia (B.C.) and Washington State. Between both jurisdictions, stocking ranged from 2,000 to 12,000 juvenile sturgeon per year from 2001 to 2010.

"Survival of hatchery-produced juvenile sturgeon was higher than anticipated," Donley said. "As a result there is a surplus of hatchery-origin sturgeon available for harvest from Lake Roosevelt."

Anglers will be able to fish for them from Grand Coulee Dam to the China Bend Boat Ramp (including the Spokane River from the Highway 25 Bridge upstream to 400 feet below Little Falls Dam, Colville River upstream to Meyers Falls, and the Kettle River upstream to Barstow Bridge). The daily limit is one sturgeon and the annual limit is two, although anglers may continue to catch and release fish after reaching daily and annual limits.

Legal size to keep a white sturgeon is between 53 and 63 inches from the tip of the snout to the middle of the fork in the tail. All harvested sturgeon must be recorded on a Catch Record Card (catch code 549).

Anglers are asked to use heavy gear (50-pound test mainline and leader at a minimum) and use 14/0 hooks or smaller to avoid catching or injuring large wild adult sturgeon. Two-pole fishing is allowed but night fishing is not.

The white sturgeon season will be open until further notice.  Season dates, times, slot limits, daily limits and annual limits may be adjusted to ensure that a sustainable population of sturgeon is maintained in Lake Roosevelt.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities.

 

LAKE ROOSEVELT WHITE STURGEON FISHERY

posted by Mike on 04/03/2019

Lake Roosevelt white sturgeon fishery

Action: Opens a harvest fishery for white sturgeon in Lake Roosevelt.

Effective date: Open 7 days per week beginning June 15, 2019 until further notice.

Species affected: White sturgeon

Location: From Grand Coulee Dam to China Bend Boat Ramp (including the Spokane River from Highway 25 Bridge upstream to 400' below Little Falls Dam, Colville River upstream to Meyers Falls, and the Kettle River upstream to Barstow Bridge)

Fishery rules: Daily Limit 1 sturgeon. Annual Limit 2 sturgeon. It is legal to retain sturgeon between 53 inches and 63 inches fork length. Fork length is measured from the tip of the snout to the middle of the fork in the caudal fin (tail). All harvested sturgeon must be recorded on a Catch Record Card (Catch Code 549). Two-pole fishing is allowed. Closed to night fishing. Anglers may continue to catch and release fish after obtaining a daily limit and after the annual limit has been taken. All other statewide rules for white sturgeon must be observed.

Anglers are asked to use heavy gear (50 lb. test mainline and leader at a minimum) and use14/0 hooks or smaller to avoid catching and/or injuring large wild adult sturgeon.  The request to use heavier gear will ensure anglers hook and land sturgeon effectively, but also is protective of large wild adult brood sturgeon that, if hooked, should be played to hand quickly and released without being removed from the water. WDFW recommends that any fish that will not be legally retained should not be removed from the water prior to release.

Reason for action: White sturgeon hatchery programs began in 2001 in British Columbia (BC) and 2004 in Washington. Stocking ranged from 2,000-12,000 juvenile sturgeon per year from 2001 to 2010 (including both Washington and BC releases).  Survival of hatchery-produced juvenile sturgeon was much higher than anticipated. As a result, there is a surplus of hatchery-origin sturgeon available for harvest from Lake Roosevelt.

Additional information: The Lake Roosevelt co-managers (WDFW, Spokane Tribe, and the Colville Confederated Tribes) will all be conducting sturgeon fisheries. Non-tribal anglers are asked to be respectful of tribal angling, and both tribal and non-tribal sturgeon research that is occurring on the reservoir. 

Anglers are reminded that fishery dates, times, slot limits, daily limits and annual limits may be adjusted over time to ensure that a sustainable population of sturgeon is maintained in Lake Roosevelt, as well equitable access to the fishery among the three co-managers.

Information contact: For more information, contact Chris Donley, WDFW Region 1 Fish Program Manager (509) 892 1001 ext. 307 or Bill Baker, WDFW District 1 Fisheries Biologist (509) 563-5499.

 

JOHN DAY POOL CLOSING FOR STURGEON RETENTION

posted by Mike on 04/02/2019

John Day Pool to close for sturgeon retention fishing

Action: Anglers must release all sturgeon.

Effective dates: 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Species affected: White sturgeon

Locations: The Columbia River from John Day Dam to McNary Dam.

Reason for action: Fishing effort picked up over this past weekend resulting in catches much higher than expected. Harvest estimates indicate the quota of 105 white sturgeon has been reached. This measure is necessary to prevent further over-harvest of the population.

Additional information: Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon will continue to be allowed.

Please see the 2018-2019 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for additional angling rules specific to the Columbia River.

Information contact: Region 5 office; 360-696-6211

STURGEON FISHERY OPENS MAY 13TH IN THE COLUMBIA RIVER ESTUARY

posted by Mike on 03/30/2019

Sturgeon fishery opens May 13 in the Columbia River estuary

OLYMPIA – Starting May 13, anglers will have an opportunity to catch and retain legal-size white sturgeon in the lower 40 miles of the Columbia River under rules approved by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

The fishery is scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays through June 5 from the Wauna powerlines, which cross Puget Island near Cathlamet, downriver to Buoy 10 at the mouth of the Columbia River. Adjacent Washington tributaries will also be open for sturgeon fishing those days.

The fishery closes at 2 p.m. each of those days. Only white sturgeon measuring 44 to 50 inches from the tip of their nose to the fork in their tale (“fork length”) may be retained.

Laura Heironimus, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said anglers fishing in estuary will be allowed to harvest up to 2,960 of the estimated 160,250 legal-size sturgeon below Bonneville Dam.

“This year’s abundance estimate for legal-size sturgeon is similar to last year, and large enough for a decent fishery,” Heironimus said. “The guideline allows harvest on less than 4 percent of the legal-sized population. That’s important because the juvenile portion of the population is still well below desired levels – a concern for future fisheries.”

Catch limits during the season are one legal-size white sturgeon per day and two legal-size fish per year.

For additional information about the upcoming fishery, see the Fishing Rule Change at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2296.

Two other sturgeon fisheries are currently underway farther upstream on the Columbia River:

  • Bonneville Pool: Anglers may retain white sturgeon measuring 38-54 inches (fork length) between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam until the catch reaches the harvest guideline of 500 fish.
  • John Day Pool: Anglers may retain white sturgeon measuring 43-54 inches (fork length) between John Day Dam and McNary Dam until the catch reaches the 105-fish guideline.
  • The Dalles Pool: These waters are closed to retention fishing, but remain open to catch-and-release fishing.

STURGEON FISHING CLOSING ON DALLES POOL

posted by Mike on 01/05/2019

The Dalles Pool closes early for sturgeon retention fishing

OLYMPIA – Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced today that The Dalles Pool on the Columbia River will close to sturgeon-retention fishing in at the end of day Sunday, Jan. 6.

The announcement came just four days after the fishery opened Jan. 1, prompted by much higher catches than anticipated in the first three days of fishing.

Bill Tweit, a special assistant at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said an immediate closure was necessary to prevent the harvest from exceeding the quota of 135 white sturgeon in those waters.

"The catch mounted much faster than expected," Tweit said. "The water temperature was higher than usual, but we don't know for certain what caused the bite to come on so strong."

The Dalles Pool, which stretches from The Dalles Dam upriver to John Day Dam, will remain open to catch-and-release fishing.

Bonneville Pool and John Day Pool, two other areas of the Columbia River that also opened for white sturgeon fishing Jan. 1, will remain open to retention fishing until further notice.

In the Bonneville Pool, anglers may retain white sturgeon measuring 38-54 inches (fork length) between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam under a catch guideline of 325 fish.

In the John Day Pool, anglers may retain white sturgeon measuring 43-54 inches (fork length) between John Day Dam and McNary Dam until the catch reaches the 105-fish guideline.

The daily limit in those areas is one white sturgeon per day, with an annual limit of two legal-size fish.

STURGEON FISHERY APPROVED BY WDFW

posted by Mike on 08/29/2018

Sturgeon retention season set in the Columbia River
upstream from Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam

Action: Allows a limited white sturgeon retention fishery in the Lower Columbia River. White sturgeon from 44-inches minimum to 50-inches maximum fork length may be retained.

Effective dates: Saturdays, September 15 and 22, 2018.

Species affected: White sturgeon.

Locations: The Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam and all adjacent Washington tributaries.

Reason for action: Increased legal-size population over the past few years allows for a conservative retention fishery within the lower Columbia River.

Other information: Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon will continue to be allowed on all non-retention days.

  • Daily white sturgeon limit: One fish
  • Annual white sturgeon limit: Two fish
  • Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited.

Information contact: Region 5 office; 360-696-6211

 

ADDITIONAL FISHERIES FOR ANGLERS ON COLUMBIA RIVER

posted by Mike on 06/06/2018

OLYMPIA – Columbia River anglers will have more opportunities to fish for spring chinook and sturgeon under an agreement reached Tuesday by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

Fishery managers agreed to extend the spring chinook fishery through June 15 below Bonneville Dam and increase the daily adult chinook limit to two hatchery fish for anglers fishing above and below Bonneville Dam. All wild chinook and wild steelhead must be released.
Below Bonneville, fishery managers also agreed to open the section from Beacon Rock to the deadline below Bonneville to boat angling. That section was previously open only to bank anglers.

The fishery below Bonneville had been scheduled to close June 6 but is being extended to align with the closing date for the fishery above Bonneville Dam. The changes are based on an updated run forecast projecting 116,500 chinook, said Ryan Lothrop, a Columbia River fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"There is sufficient catch allocation to allow us to add a few more days of fishing opportunity in the mainstem Columbia below Bonneville Dam," Lothrop said.

Anglers fishing below Bonneville Dam can now keep two adult hatchery chinook or two adult hatchery steelhead or one of each as part of their daily catch limit. The same regulations also apply above Bonneville Dam.

Also on Tuesday, fishery managers agreed to open white sturgeon retention on Saturday, June 9 in the Columbia River estuary downstream from the Wauna powerlines. The one-day fishery is open from one hour before sunrise through 2 p.m. June 9, when the fishery closes for both retention and catch-and-release fishing.
Retained sturgeon must measure between 44 and 50 inches fork length. The daily limit is one fish and the annual limit is two. All green sturgeon must be released immediately. 

More information about these fisheries can be found online at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_current_order_by_date.j.

 

LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER STURGEON SEASONS

posted by Mike on 04/17/2018

Sturgeon fishery set in Columbia River
estuary downstream from Wauna powerlines

Action: Allows a limited recreational retention fishery for white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary. White sturgeon from 44-inches minimum to 50-inches maximum fork length may be retained.

Effective Dates: Monday, Wednesday, and Saturdays: May 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, 30, and June 2, 4, 2018. Sturgeon angling, including catch and release, closes at 2 p.m. on each open day.

Species affected: White sturgeon.

Locations: The Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines to the mouth at Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries.

Reason for action: Increased legal-size population over the past few years has allowed for a conservative retention fishery within the lower Columbia River.

Other information: Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon will continue to be allowed on all non-retention days.
Daily white sturgeon limit: One fish.
Annual white sturgeon limit: Two fish.
Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited.

Information Contact: Region 5 office; 360-696-6211

STURGEON SEASONS FOR BONNEVILLE & DALLES POOLS ON THE COLUMBIA

posted by Mike on 04/17/2018

Sport sturgeon retention season
set in Bonneville and Dalles Pools

Action: Allow retention of white sturgeon for one day within the following slot limits:

  1. Bonneville Pool: between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length.
  2. The Dalles Pool: between 43-inches and 54-inches fork length.

Effective dates: Friday June 15, 2018
Species affected: White sturgeon

Locations: Fishing will be open in the Columbia River within the Bonneville Pool, The Dalles Pool, and adjacent tributaries, except within the spawning sanctuary closure areas:

  1. Bonneville Pool: From The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.
  2. The Dalles Pool: From John Day Dam downstream 2.4 miles to a line crossing the Columbia at a right angle to the thread of the river from the west end of the grain silo at Rufus, Oregon.

Reason for action: There are sturgeon available for harvest within the established guidelines for both reservoirs.

Other information: Catch-and-release will continue to be allowed, except in the spawning sanctuary closure areas.

Daily white sturgeon limit: One fish.

Annual white sturgeon limit: Two fish.

Information contact: Region 5; 360-696-6211

COLUMBIA RIVER REOPENS FOR STURGEON RETENTION

posted by Mike on 10/28/2017

Anglers can retain sturgeon Oct. 28 in the Columbia River

Action: Opens a section of the lower Columbia River for retention of legal-size sturgeon for one day.

Effective date: Oct. 28, 2017

Species affected: White sturgeon

Locations: The mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines to Bonneville Dam.

Reason for action: There is available sturgeon on the guideline for a one-day harvest.

Other information: Sturgeon available for retention must measure 44-50 inches from the tip of their nose to the fork in their tail (caudal fin).

Information contact: Region 5, Olaf Langness; 360-696-6741

STURGEON RETENTION BELOW BONNEVILLE DAM OCTOBER 21ST & OCTOBER 26TH

posted by Mike on 10/12/2017

Sturgeon retention allowed for 2 days on
Columbia River below Bonneville Dam

Action:  Allows retention of white sturgeon for two days on the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.

Effective Dates:  Oct. 21 and Oct. 26, 2017.

Species affected:  White sturgeon.

Locations:  On the mainstem Columbia River, from the Wauna power lines (40 miles from the mouth of the Columbia) upstream to Bonneville Dam

Reason for action: There are sufficient sturgeon remaining under the guideline to allow for a two-day retention fishery. 

Other information: Anglers will have a daily retention limit of one fish measuring 44 to 50 inches from its snout to the fork in its tail. An annual limit of two white sturgeon, regardless of where they are caught, will also be in effect.

The mainstem Columbia River remains open for catch-and-release sturgeon fishing.

Information Contact: Region 5, Olaf Langness; 360-696-6741.

LOWER COLUMBIA RIVER STURGEON FISHERY CLOSES

posted by Mike on 06/15/2017

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.

WDFW & ODFW APPROVE LIMITED COLUMBIA RIVER STURGEON FISHERY

posted by Mike on 06/01/2017

Columbia River sturgeon fisheries approved below and above Bonneville

OLYMPIA – Starting Monday (June 5), anglers can catch and keep white sturgeon in the lower Columbia River for the first time in three years under an agreement reached today by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon.

The two states approved the limited retention fishery based on surveys indicating that the number of legal-size sturgeon below Bonneville Dam has grown each year since 2014, when the fishery was closed to allow stocks to rebuild.

The fishery will be open for six days from the mouth of the river to the Wauna power lines (downstream from Longview) on the following schedule:

  • Monday, June 5; Wednesday, June 7; Saturday, June 10
  • Monday, June 12; Wednesday, June 14; Saturday, June 17

Anglers will not be allowed to retain sturgeon after 2 p.m. on any of those days.

Anglers will have a daily limit of one fish measuring 44 to 50 inches from its snout to the fork in its tail. An annual limit of two white sturgeon, regardless of where they are caught, will also be in effect.

In a separate action, both states also approved a one-day sturgeon fishery for Saturday, June 10 in the Bonneville Pool, where 229 fish are available for harvest under current harvest guidelines. The legal size limit for that fishery is 38 to 54 inches.

Ron Roler, a fishery manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), said the two states are taking a "cautionary approach" to the fishery below Bonneville Dam.

"We believe the sturgeon population in the lower river has increased to the point where it can support a limited fishery, without impeding future growth," Roler said. "This is a very popular fishery, and we need to take this one step at a time."

Roler said the fishery managers currently estimate there are 165,600 legal-size fish in the Columbia River Bonneville Dam. The harvest guideline for the upcoming fishery is 3,000 sturgeon.

In designing the fishery, the two states adopted several measures specifically aimed at controlling the catch, Roler said. Those measures include:

  • Holding the harvest rate to 3.8 percent, compared to 14.5 percent in the years before the closure.
  • Protecting larger-size fish by reducing the previous maximum size limit of 54 inches to a 50-inch maximum fork length.
  • Reducing the range of legal-sized fish from 38-54 inches to 44-50 inches.

For additional information about both sturgeon openings, see WDFW's Emergency Fishing Rule webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

Roler noted that the fishery will overlap with the arrival and departure of the Rose Festival fleet on June 10 and June 12. Anglers are advised that there is a Homeland Security buffer of 500 yards surrounding all naval vessels and boats are not permitted to approach within 100 yards.

JOHN DAY POOL TO CLOSE FOR STURGEON RETENTION

posted by Mike on 03/28/2017

John Day Pool on Columbia River to close for retention of sturgeon

Action: Closes retention of sturgeon in John Day Pool.

Effective date: March 30, 2017, until further notice.

Species affected: White sturgeon.

Locations: The Columbia River and tributaries from John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam.

Reason for action: The harvest guideline is expected to be reached by the effective date of this rule.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

 

STURGEON TO CLOSE IN BONNEVILLE & DALLES POOLS EFFECTIVE MARCH 25TH

posted by Mike on 03/16/2017

Sturgeon retention by sport fishery to close in Bonneville, The Dalles pools

Action: Closes retention of sturgeon in Bonneville and The Dalles pools.

Effective date: March 25, 2017, until further notice.

Species affected: White sturgeon.

Locations: The Columbia River and tributaries from Bonneville Dam upstream to John Day Dam.

Reason for action: The harvest guidelines for both pools are expected to be reached by the effective date of this rule.

Other information: Catch-and-release fishing remains open in both the Bonneville and The Dalles pools.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

STURGEON FISHING EXTENDED IN WANAPUM AND PRIEST RAPID RESERVOIRS

posted by Mike on 09/28/2016

WDFW extends sturgeon fishing, raises limit
in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs

Action: Extend the harvest season for sturgeon

Effective Dates: Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, 2016

Species affected: White sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length

Location: Priest Rapids Reservoir (from Priest Rapids Dam to Wanapum Dam) and Wanapum Reservoir (from Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam)

Reason for action: Harvestable surplus of hatchery-origin white sturgeon still remain in both reservoirs. Removal of these hatchery-origin fish is consistent with ongoing actions to rebuild depressed populations of wild-origin white sturgeon in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.

Other information:

  • A daily limit of three (3) sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length may be harvested from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.
  • Legal-size fish may be harvested whether or not they are marked by a fin clip, hole punch, or tag.
  • Only one single-point barbless hook and bait is allowed per pole while fishing for sturgeon. However, anglers may fish with two poles with the purchase of a Two-Pole Endorsement license.
  • Anglers are not required to record sturgeon harvested from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs on a Catch Record Card. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs after the daily limit is harvested.
  • Any sturgeon not to be harvested must be released immediately. Oversized sturgeon cannot be removed completely or in part from the water.
  • There is no annual harvest limit for sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length caught in the Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.
  • Night fishing for sturgeon is prohibited. In the field, anglers must retain eggs with intact carcass of fish from which they came.

All closed-water areas in and around Wanapum, Priest Rapids, and Rock Island dams remain in effect. Check the current sport fishing rules pamphlet for complete details (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/).

Daily and annual limits, harvestable slot length limits, Catch Record Card recording requirements, and all other sport fishing rules governing sturgeon harvest in all other legally open fisheries still apply.

Information contact: Chad Jackson, District Fish Biologist, (509) 754-4624, ext. 250 or Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624, ext. 224 

STURGEON FISHERY TO OPEN IN UPPER COLUMBIA

posted by Mike on 06/21/2016

Anglers will be able to harvest hatchery sturgeon
starting July 1 in the upper Columbia River

OLYMPIA – Beginning July 1, recreational anglers will have the opportunity to harvest hatchery sturgeon from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs, state fishery managers announced today.

This is the first time in two decades that anglers will be allowed to retain sturgeon in this section of the Columbia River, said Chad Jackson, district fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). 

Several thousand juvenile sturgeon were released into the upper Columbia River in 2003. Recent surveys indicate many of these hatchery fish have grown to harvestable size. About 4,000 hatchery sturgeon are estimated to reside in Wanapum Reservoir and roughly 2,000 in Priest Rapids Reservoir.

"We believe reducing the number of hatchery fish in these reservoirs will help regional conservation efforts to recover wild sturgeon populations," Jackson said. "We're hoping to remove as many of these hatchery sturgeon as possible."

As part the plan to recover the white sturgeon populations, state fish managers approved this fishery to reduce interaction between wild fish and hatchery sturgeon. WDFW is implementing a size restriction for this fishery that is designed to target hatchery sturgeon while protecting larger wild fish, Jackson said.

Between July 1 and Sept. 30, anglers will be allowed to retain two hatchery sturgeon daily that are between 38 and 72 inches (fork-length) from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs. Sturgeon caught in these reservoirs will not count toward an angler's annual limit for sturgeon. Anglers will not be required to record sturgeon harvested from the two reservoirs on their catch record cards. 

Angler participation and success will determine whether WDFW will reopen the fishery after its scheduled closing date of Sept. 30, Jackson said. WDFW will monitor angler catch and compliance closely.   

"We know there are thousands of these hatchery fish residing in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs," he said. "We don't know whether this will be a onetime opening or if there will be future fishing opportunities." 

More details about this fishery can be found on WDFW's webpage at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/

Two Days Of Sturgeon Fishing In Bonneville Pool

posted by Mike on 04/13/2016

Bonneville Pool will open two days to white sturgeon retention

Action: The summer-season recreational fishery in Bonneville Reservoir opens to white sturgeon retention for two days in June.

Effective dates: Saturday June 18 and Friday July 1, 2016

Species affected: White sturgeon between 38-inches and 54-inches fork length

Location: The Columbia River and adjacent tributaries from Bonneville Dam upstream to the sturgeon spawning sanctuary boundary located 1.8 miles downstream of The Dalles Dam, from the east (upstream) dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a boundary marker on the Washington shore.

Reason for action: Establishes a summer white sturgeon retention period in Bonneville Reservoir. Around 168 fish remain available for harvest from the 325 fish total guideline. This balance allows for a summer retention season. This decision was made April 7, 2016 at a joint Washington-Oregon public hearing.

Other information: The annual harvest guideline for Bonneville Pool was reduced from 1,100 fish to 325 fish in response to a decline in the population of legal-size sturgeon. All other permanent regulations remain in effect. Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon is allowed, except the spawning sanctuary is closed to all sturgeon angling during May through July. The Columbia River and adjacent tributaries between The Dalles and McNary dams remain open to sturgeon retention until respective harvest guidelines for each reservoir are reached. The spawning sanctuaries from the Highway 395/I-82 Bridge upstream to McNary Dam and from the Rufus grain elevator upstream to John Day Dam close to all sturgeon fishing May 1 through July 31.

Information contact: Dennis Gilliland, (360) 906-6733.

Chinook, Sturgeon & Smelt Information For The Columbia River And Cowlitz River

posted by Mike on 01/29/2016

States set seasons for spring chinook,
sturgeon, smelt in Columbia River Basin

 

 

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Anticipating a return of 299,200 adult spring chinook salmon, fishery managers from Washington and Oregon today set this year’s initial fishing season to run through April 9 on the lower Columbia River.

In addition, representatives from the two states agreed to close the winter sturgeon retention fishery in the Bonneville Pool effective Feb. 8 and approved a six-hour recreational smelt season Feb. 6 on the Cowlitz River.

Here are the major provisions of those agreements:

  • Spring chinook: From March 1 through April 9, anglers fishing downriver from Bonneville Dam may retain one marked, hatchery-reared adult spring chinook as part of their daily catch limit. The fishery will be open to both boat and bank anglers upriver to Beacon Rock, and – for bank anglers only – from there upriver to the fishing boundary just below the dam.

    The sport fishery will close in all areas of the lower Columbia River on two Tuesdays – March 29 and April 5 – to accommodate potential commercial fisheries.

    Upstream of Bonneville Dam, anglers may retain one hatchery-reared adult spring chinook per day from March 16 through May 6 between the Tower Island powerlines and the Washington/Oregon state line. Bank anglers using hand-casted gear (no boats) can also fish from Bonneville Dam upriver to the Tower Island powerlines during that time.

    Barbless hooks are required to fish for spring chinook in the Columbia River and anglers must release any salmon or steelhead not visibly marked as a hatchery fish by a clipped adipose fin.
  • Sturgeon: The recreational sturgeon retention fishery between Bonneville Dam and The Dalles Dam will close Feb. 8. By that time, fishery managers expect that anglers will have reeled in 140 sturgeon from those waters, leaving 185 available for a one-or-two day fishery in summer. Catch-and-release fishing remains an option until then.
  • Smelt: As in the past two years, fishery managers approved a limited fishery for smelt on the Cowlitz River to help gather data on the species’ abundance. Recreational smelt dipping will be restricted to the hours of 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. The limit per person is 10 pounds – about one-quarter of a five-gallon bucket. Smelt dipping is not allowed from boats.

    To support the data-collection effort, the two states also approved a limited gillnet fishery for smelt in February on the lower Columbia River. The area’s smelt population was listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act in 2010, but runs have shown some signs of improvement since then.

Fishing rules reflecting these actions are available on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/

Fishing for spring chinook is currently open on a daily basis from Buoy 10 near the mouth of the Columbia River upstream to the Interstate 5 Bridge, although the bulk of the run doesn’t arrive until mid-March when the new fishing rules will be in effect.

Catch guidelines approved for the popular fishery will allow anglers fishing below Bonneville Dam to catch approximately 9,100 hatchery-raised “springers” before an updated run forecast is completed in late April or early May.

Another 1,000 adult upriver chinook are reserved for anglers fishing upriver from Bonneville Dam to the Washington/Oregon state line, 17 miles above McNary Dam. Additional fish have also been reserved for the Snake River sport fishery.

After banner spring chinook returns in each of the past two years, the projected run of 299,200 adult fish for 2016 is still slightly above the recent 10-year average, said Ron Roler, WDFW Columbia River policy manager. However, while this year’s projected run of upriver fish is down by about 100,000 fish from last year, he said returns to some tributaries – notably the Cowlitz and Kalama rivers – show an increase this year.

“Salmon returns rise and fall from year to year, especially during the kind of cyclical ocean changes we’re seeing right now,” Roler said. “Even so, if this run comes in as projected, it will still be the ninth-largest return in more than 25 years. We’re expecting plenty of fish to support a great fishing season.”

As in previous years, Washington and Oregon will manage the fishery with a 30 percent buffer on the upriver chinook forecast until the results of the in-season run update are known.

“We’ll continue to take a conservative approach in managing the fishery,” Roler said. “If the fish return at or above expectations, we will look toward providing additional days of fishing on the river later in the spring.”

Columbia River Chinook, Sockeye and Sturgeon Fishing Opportunities

posted by Mike on 07/03/2014

Fishing seasons extended for chinook,
sockeye, sturgeon on Columbia River

 

 

OLYMPIA - Starting July 3, anglers will get four extra days to fish for summer chinook salmon and the rest of July to fish for sockeye salmon on Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon agreed to extend seasons for both salmon fisheries during a joint meeting Tuesday, when they also added four days of sturgeon fishing this month in the 46-mile reservoir behind Bonneville Dam.

In all three cases, fishing seasons were extended to allow anglers to catch fish available for harvest under joint catch guidelines, said Ron Roler, Columbia River Policy Coordinator for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

He noted that catch guidelines for sockeye salmon reflect an updated forecast of 425,000 fish, up from 347,100 previously anticipated. This year's summer chinook forecast remains at 67,500 fish.

"Salmon are returning at or above projections, which gives us room to reopen those fisheries," Roler said. "We also have 468 white sturgeon in the Bonneville Pool still available for harvest."

Fisheries for both summer chinook and sockeye salmon closed July 1, as previously scheduled, but will open July 3 under the following rules:

  • Summer chinook: Open July 3-6 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the Bonneville Dam deadline. Anglers can keep up to two adult hatchery chinook (with clipped adipose fins) as part of the two-fish daily limit for adult salmonids.
  • Sockeye salmon: Open July 3-31 from the Astoria-Megler Bridge upstream to the Bonneville Dam deadline. Anglers can keep up to two sockeye (adipose fin clipped or not) as part of their two-fish daily limit for adult salmonids.
  • Sturgeon: The retention fishery for white sturgeon in the Bonneville Pool will be open July 11-12 and July 18-19. Anglers fishing the Bonneville Pool those days will have a daily limit of one white sturgeon with a fork length of 38 to 54 inches.

Fishing for sturgeon prohibited through July 31 from The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles to a line from the upstream dock at the Port of The Dalles boat ramp straight across to a marker on the Washington shore.

For more information about the salmon and sturgeon fisheries, check the fishing rule changes at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/.

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