THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Saturday, Jan. 29 will be the last day of white sturgeon retention fishing in Bonneville Pool (Columbia River from Bonneville Dam to The Dalles Dam and adjacent tributaries).
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon expect effort to be high for the next few days due to good weather. Catch rates indicate the harvest guideline of 675 sturgeon will be reached this weekend, marking the second consecutive year that Bonneville Pool recreational sturgeon retention will close in January.
Fishery managers extended the sturgeon retention season for an additional 14 days in The Dalles Pool (from The Dalles Dam to John Day Dam). The season will continue to be open three days per week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays) from Jan. 29-through Feb. 28 or until the allowable catch of 190 sturgeon is reached.
The staggered retention days for The Dalles Pool were adopted in December to allow staff sufficient time to monitor catches and take action to stay within harvest guidelines. Fishery managers do not expect to extend The Dalles Pool season beyond Feb. 28.
Next year, a change to a days per week approach may also be necessary for Bonneville Pool (reducing retention from seven days a week), again to allow time for staff to assess catch rates and to extend the retention season beyond January.
Sturgeon retention remains open per permanent regulations in the John Day Pool (from John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam), for seven days per week until the guideline is met. Catch rates are currently low in the John Day Pool so no management action is needed at this time.
The daily bag limit for retention seasons is one legal-sized white sturgeon, with a statewide annual bag limit of two fish. Legal-size white sturgeon in Bonneville Pool are those measuring a minimum of 38 inches and a maximum of 54 inches fork length; the minimum size increases to 43 inches fork length in The Dalles and John Day pools. Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the caudal fin (tail) with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface, with the tape measure/ruler positioned flat under the fish.
Catch-and-release sturgeon angling remain opens all year, except angling for sturgeon is prohibited May 1 through Aug. 31 within the sanctuary areas designated below each of the dam tailraces.
Correction, 5:22 p.m., January 25, 2022. Dennis Schwartz’s last name was twice incorrectly stated as Schwade in the caption in the initial version of this post. It has since been corrected. Our apologies.