Recreational sturgeon anglers will get an additional day of retention fishing Saturday, Oct. 28 in the Columbia River from Wauna to Bonneville Dam under rules adopted today by fish and wildlife departments from Oregon and Washington.
The extra fishing day was approved after staff reviewed harvest data that showed 4,700 anglers harvested fewer than 200 legal-sized sturgeon during the first sturgeon retention day on Oct. 21. Biologists attributed the poor harvest rate to heavy rain and wind, which made fishing difficult.
Once again, the open area is on the mainstem Columbia from the Wauna power lines, located approximately 40 miles from the river mouth, upstream to the fishing deadline at Bonneville Dam.
Legal retention size is 44- to 50-inch fork length. The bag limit is one legal-sized white sturgeon per day, and no more than two for the year, regardless of when they were caught. By permanent regulation, all sturgeon fishing is restricted to a single barbless hook.
This year marks the first time since 2013 that sturgeon retention fishing has been allowed between Wauna and Bonneville since the lower Columbia and Willamette were closed due to concerns about legal-size sturgeon abundance and other indicators of population status. The number of legal-sized sturgeon has improved since then to the point where fishery managers believe the population will support a small recreational fishery.
The Willamette River from the falls to the river mouth, including Multnomah Channel, remains closed to sturgeon retention but catch and release angling is allowed. The Gilbert River remains closed to all sturgeon angling.
In a separate action, the states adopted rules making it illegal to fish at night for salmon, steelhead, shad, sturgeon, trout and whitefish in the Columbia River from Buoy 10 upstream to the old Hanford townsite, effective Oct. 28-Dec 31. The intent of the rule is to liberalize night fishing for other species such as walleye and catfish.
For more information, visit ODFW’s Columbia River Regulation Update page on-line.