OLYMPIA - Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington have approved summer fishing seasons for catching and keeping sturgeon and a new sturgeon spawning sanctuary in the Columbia River behind Bonneville Dam.
Retention of legal-sized sturgeon will be allowed on June 13-14 and June 20-21 on the Columbia River between Bonneville and The Dalles dams. The seasons were adopted last week during a joint state hearing of the Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife.
The states also adopted a new sturgeon spawning sanctuary in the upper end of Bonneville Reservoir, extending from The Dalles Dam downstream 1.8 miles. All angling for sturgeon will be prohibited in the sanctuary from May 1-July 31. The lower boundary of the sanctuary extends from the upper end of the boat ramp at the Port of The Dalles to a marker on the Washington shore.
Brad James, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the new restriction is designed to reduce handling of sturgeon in prime spawning area at the height of spawning season. Previously, catch-and-release sturgeon fishing was allowed in the area during those months.
Retention sturgeon fisheries are currently under way seven days a week in The Dalles and John Day reservoirs until harvest guidelines of 300 and 500 sturgeon, respectively, are achieved. Sturgeon fishing is currently restricted to catch-and-release in the Bonneville Reservoir.
The catch limit in all three areas is one sturgeon per day and two for the year. Sturgeon must be between 38 and 54 inches fork length to be retained in Bonneville Reservoir and 43-54 inches fork length upstream of The Dalles Dam.