just one day left to fish for white sturgeon in the lower Columbia River
estuary, Oregon and Washington closed that section of river to retention after
anglers turned out in high numbers and caught more of the fish than expected.
states agreed to cancel a final day of fishing that was previously scheduled for
Saturday, June 17, said Ron Roler, a fishery manager for the Washington
Department of Fish and Wildlife.
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."
two-state Columbia River Compact at its May 31 hearing had almost reluctantly
set a six day fishing period for sturgeon downstream of Wauna, a town and paper
mill in Oregon across the Columbia River from Cathlamet, and to the river’s
of white sturgeon in the river downstream of Bonneville Dam had been closed for
both recreational and commercial fishers since 2014 due to concerns about
population status, although catch and release fishing continued. However, the
number of legal-sized sturgeon had been increasing since then and the Compact
deliberated if it should allow fishing over two hearings before it approved the
six-day fishing periods.
CBB, June 2, 2017, “Limited White Sturgeon Fishing Opens In Lower Columbia
River, Bonneville Pool; First Since 2014,” http://www.cbbulletin.com/439006.aspx)
the May 31 hearing, it had set white sturgeon fishing periods for Monday,
Wednesday and Saturdays the weeks of June 5 and June 12. Instead fishing ended
Wednesday, June 14 at 2 pm after a Compact meeting the same afternoon, and
fishing on the last day, June 17, was rescinded.
to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, “Recreational anglers exhausted
their harvest quota of 3,000 legal-sized sturgeon during the first five days of
this fishery, with about 12,000 angler trips expected.” In fact, the Compact
staff estimated that through Wednesday the catch would be 3,000 to 3,200
sturgeon and with the addition of Saturday, the catch would have exceeded 4,000
fish (133 percent of the harvest guideline).
at the meeting, the Compact added a second day of white sturgeon retention in
Bonneville Dam’s pool and its tributaries for Friday, June 23. A previous
one-day fishing period had snagged just 181 sturgeon, 56 percent of the 325
fish guideline, leaving 144 fish available for harvest.
can keep one fish with a fork length between 38 and 54 inches. Fishing is
prohibited through July within the sturgeon sanctuary from The Dalles Dam
downstream 1.8 miles to the Port of The Dalles boat ramp.
and release fishing for sturgeon continues to be allowed in all areas of the
Columbia River mainstem.
more information, visit ODFW’s Columbia Zone Regulations Update Page at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/reg_changes/columbia.asp.
Compact also deliberated tribal treaty gillnetting in the Bonneville pool,
Yakama Nation fishing in tributaries, as well as additional non-tribal
commercial gillnetting in off-channel Select Areas in the lower Columbia River.
set two 3-1/2 day commercial gillnetting periods in the Bonneville pool at the
request of the Columbia River InterTribal Fish Commission. The allowed catch
includes chinook and sockeye salmon, as well as steelhead, among other fish
species. All can be sold. White sturgeon catch is allowed only for subsistence
periods are 6 am, Monday, June 19, to 6 pm, Thursday, June 22, and 6 am,
Monday, June 26, to 6 pm, Thursday, June 29.
hook and line fishing is allowed 6 am Friday, June 16 through 11:59 pm July 31.
Nation tributary fishing is allowed from 6 am, Friday, June 16 until further
notice in the Wind River, Drano Lake and Klickitat River. Hoop nets/bag nets,
dip nets and rod and reel with hook and line are allowed, and commercial
gillnetting is only allowed in Drano Lake.
Compact gave lower river commercial gillnetters a shot at white sturgeon, as well
as salmon and shad, in the Select Areas of Youngs Bay, Blind Slough, Knappa
Slough, Tongue Point and the South Channel, all in Oregon. Commercial fishers
can possess five white sturgeon with fork lengths between 44 inches and 54
inches each week.
more information about the actions taken by the Compact this week, see the June
14 joint state Compact Action Notice at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OSCRP/CRM/CAN/17/1706014_notice.pdf.
details of the fishing proposals, see the June 14, 2017 Joint Staff Report
Summer Fact Sheets No. 1a and 1b at: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OSCRP/CRM/fact_sheets.asp.
February 10, 2017, “Harvest Managers Extend Tribal Sturgeon Gillnetting For One
CBB, Feb. 26, 2016, “Lower Columbia River White Sturgeon Overall Numbers
Continue To Grow, ‘Ongoing Productivity Issues' ” http://www.cbbulletin.com/436114.aspx