Sturgeon anglers fishing in the Columbia and Snake river reservoirs above McNary Dam are asked to watch for and return special tags found in some of the fish.
The yellow plastic markers are shaped like a piece of spaghetti, and are attached to the base of the fish’s dorsal fin.
"The tag program helps inform us of the abundance and distribution of white sturgeon and fishing above McNary Dam," said Olaf Langness, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fish biologist. "We appreciate anglers’ cooperation in this effort."
Fishery managers ask that anyone who encounters a tagged sturgeon remove and return the tag, along with information on the date and location of the catch and whether the fish was kept or released. Anglers who keep a tagged fish are asked to report the sturgeon’s fork length, measured from the tip of its snout to the fork in its tail.
The tags and information should be mailed to the Sturgeon Tag Reward Program, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), 17330 SE. Evelyn St., Clackamas, OR 97015.
Respondents who include their name, mailing address and telephone number will be sent a complimentary "Columbia Basin Sturgeon Conservationist" baseball cap.
The tag program - including the reward caps - is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration as part of its White Sturgeon Mitigation and Restoration Project. Project participants include WDFW, ODFW, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Langness said about 120 sturgeon were tagged last year in McNary Pool, noting that additional fish will be tagged this year in Lower Monumental and Little Goose pools - and in the Ice Harbor Pool next year.