By Terry Murry on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories
News release from Washington & Oregon fishery managers:
CLACKAMAS, Ore.—Wednesday, Jan. 25 will be the last day to retain sturgeon in The Dalles Pool (mainstem Columbia River from The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam and adjacent tributaries) and Sunday, Jan. 29 will be the last day to retain sturgeon in the John Day Pool (mainstem Columbia River from John Day Dam upstream to McNary Dam and adjacent tributaries).
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon made the decision today after determining that harvest guidelines will be reached soon due to higher-than-expected effort and catch rates.
Through Jan. 25, the projected catch in The Dalles Pool is 184 fish (97 percent of the guideline) while in John Day Pool, the projected catch thru Jan. 29 is 101 fish (96 percent of the guideline).
Fishery managers implemented staggered, three-day-per-week fishing seasons (Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays) in Bonneville and The Dalles pools this year to try and lengthen the season. A combination of higher effort and good catch rates had sturgeon harvest accruing more quickly than managers originally projected.
While 75 sturgeon remain on the Bonneville Pool guideline since that season closed Jan. 12, fishery managers decided not to add another fishing day due to the potential to exceed the guideline if anglers were given an additional day next week. Managers considered adopting an additional day in the Bonneville Pool on short notice this week, but ultimately decided not to reopen the fishery.
Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing remains open in the mainstem upstream of Bonneville Dam, except angling for sturgeon is prohibited May 1-Aug. 31 within sanctuary areas below each of the dam tailraces.