OLYMPIA – Anglers will have two opportunities later this month to reel in a white sturgeon on a stretch of the lower Columbia River.
Fishery managers from Oregon and Washington agreed Thursday to open the mainstem Columbia River from the Wauna powerlines upstream to the Bonneville Dam on Saturday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 28. The sturgeon fishery will also be open on the Cowlitz River on the same days.
A limited fall sturgeon fishery below Bonneville Dam was reintroduced in 2017 following several years of closures, after fishery managers determined that there was a sufficient population to support limited recreational fishing, said Laura Heironimus, sturgeon unit lead with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“This is a popular fishery, and these openings allow us to provide opportunity while continuing to closely monitor the conservation issues we’re facing in this area,” Heironimus said.
Anglers reeled in about 85 percent of the quota during a similar two-day fishery last fall, Heironimus said, and an 11-day fishery on the lower Columbia this spring resulted in about 96 percent of that quota being caught.
Anglers may retain only white sturgeon measuring 44 to 50 inches from the tip of their nose to the fork in their tale (“fork length”). Catch limits during the season are one legal-size white sturgeon per day and two legal-size fish per year. Only one single-point, barbless hook and bait is allowed when fishing for sturgeon.