THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Anglers will be able to retain sturgeon in The Dalles Pool (Columbia River from The Dalles Dam to John Day Dam) only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays starting Jan. 1 when the new season kicks off at the start of the year.
A 12-day recreational season will run three days a week until Jan. 26 or the quota of 190 sturgeon is met.
Managers are adjusting the season due to early closures that have occurred the last few years. Under permanent regulations, sturgeon retention opens in The Dalles, Bonneville and John Day pools Jan. 1 and is open every day until the quota is met.
But retention seasons in two of the past five years lasted less than one week and in three of the past five years, less than one month in The Dalles Pool. Last year’s season lasted just four days (likely due to good weather and the season opening on a three-day holiday weekend) and exceeded harvest guidelines.
The new staggered season days will provide sufficient time for staff to monitor catches in The Dalles Pool fishery and take action to stay within harvest guidelines. If harvest is lower than projected, additional retention days may be considered.
Sturgeon retention seasons in Bonneville and John Day Pools remain as set in permanent regulations (open every day beginning Jan. 1 until quota is met) as these do not tend to reach their quota the first month of the year.
The daily bag limit is one legal-sized white sturgeon, with a statewide annual bag limit of two fish. Legal-size white sturgeon in The Dalles Pool are those measuring a minimum of 43 inches and a maximum of 54 inches fork length. 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.
Except for specific sanctuaries, catch-and-release sturgeon fishing remains open in The Dalles, Bonneville and John Day Pools, even when retention seasons are closed, per the permanent 2022 Sport Fishing Regulations.
Retention sturgeon fishing is closed below Bonneville Dam and below Willamette Falls. These seasons will be addressed in 2022.