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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 29, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Columbia River estuary sturgeon fishery still slow, but boat anglers managed to catch more fish

Here is the latest word on sturgeon fishing in the Lower Columbia River’s estuary area.

Overall fishing is still slow, but did improve for boat anglers sampled at the Deep River/Knappton ramps.

In addition, we sampled our first legal kept from the Washington bank.

Overall, private boat anglers averaged a legal kept/released per every 10 rods while charter boat anglers averaged one per about every nine rods.

If an angler catches a fish, there was about a one in four chance it would be a keeper.

Last week, sturgeon anglers in the estuary made 3,400 trips and kept 679 legal white sturgeon. There were 222 private boats in the estuary this past Saturday compared to 125 last Sunday, and catch rates for private boats improved from 0.58 fish per boat last week to 0.79 fish per boat this week.

Charter boat effort decreased with the opportunity to fish for salmon in the ocean, and catch rates for charter anglers remained similar to previous weeks at about one keeper per 10 anglers.

The catch through June 26, 2011 is 1,909 legal white sturgeon kept from 12,399 angler trips. For comparison, the catch through June 26, 2010 was 2,922 sturgeon kept from 22,503 angler trips. Catch rates in 2011 are 0.154 fish kept per angler compared to 0.13 in 2010.

An estimated 28-percent of this year’s 6,800 fish guideline had been taken through June 26.

Ports of Chinook/Ilwaco last week: 64 private boats with 160 anglers caught five legal sturgeon and released 187; 35 charter boats with 355 anglers caught 39 legal sturgeon and released 114.

Knappton/Deep River last week: 28 boats with 82 anglers caught 18 legal sturgeon and released 47; 16 bank anglers caught one legal sturgeon.

Mainstem Columbia and its tributaries from Buoy 10 upstream to the Wauna powerlines (including all adjacent Washington tributaries) – White sturgeon may be retained daily through July 31. Daily limit is one fish.

The minimum fork length is 41 inches and maximum fork length 54 inches. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted on non-retention days.

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