The head scratcher this summer has been the sturgeon fishery in the Lower Columbia River which is just limping along.
The recreational fishery below the Wauna power lines has been open daily from Jan. 1-April 30 (38- to 54-inch fork length) and May 22-June 26 (41- to 54-inch fork length). The 2010 catch guideline for this fishery is 9,600 white sturgeon.
Catch (and effort) to date has been well below average with an estimated zero fish kept during January-April; 446 kept during May; and 1,753 kept during June 1-20 (2,199 total). An additional 750 fish will likely be kept during June 21-26.
The actual and projected kept catch for the current season (Jan. 1-June 26) totals 2,950 white sturgeon. Based on the catch guideline, an additional 6,650 fish remain available for harvest.
The white sturgeon retention season for the mainstem Columbia from Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam is scheduled to be open three days a week (Thursdays to Saturdays only) from Jan. 1-July 31, and Oct. 1-Dec. 31 (38- to 54-inch fork length).
Sturgeon angling is prohibited from the east end of Skamania Island upstream to Bonneville Dam April 1-Aug. 31 and in the Sand Island Slough through July 31.
The 2010 catch guideline for this fishery is 4,835 white sturgeon. The estimated kept catch through May is 2,204 fish (46-percent of sport catch quota) from 20,000 angler trips.