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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Sturgeon and winter steelhead fishing among the best bets in Columbia River region

COLUMBIA FISHING

Notice of Columbia River Compact Hearing: ODFW & WDFW have scheduled a Compact Hearing for 10 a.m., Thursday, January 26, 2012 at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel in Portland to discuss commercial and recreational seasons for spring chinook and sturgeon.

Weekend Fishing Opportunities:

Sturgeon angling is good for boat anglers in the Bonneville Pool. Water flows have been high and boaters should be mindful of large debris floating down the river.

Winter steelhead fishing should improve when the flows drop and the water clears.

SALMON, STEELHEAD AND SHAD

Recreational salmon fisheries will resume for the early portion of 2012 under permanent regulations.

Modifications to the 2012 spring chinook fishery will be considered at the January 26 Compact Hearing.

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, BUOY 10 LINE UPSTREAM TO THE I-5 BRIDGE:

Under permanent regulations, this section of the Columbia River is open January 1 – March 31, 2012 to the retention of adipose fin-clipped spring chinook, adipose fin-clipped steelhead and adipose fin-clipped coho with a daily bag limit of two adult salmon or steelhead (chinook > 24″ and coho > 20″ or steelhead > 20″) and five jacks.

COLUMBIA RIVER MAINSTEM, I-5 BRIDGE UPSTREAM TO THE OREGON/WASHINGTON BORDER ABOVE MCNARY DAM:

Under permanent regulations, this section of the Columbia River is open January 1 – March 31, 2012 to the retention of adipose fin-clipped steelhead with a daily bag limit of two fish. The retention of spring chinook is prohibited as per permanent regulations.

The salmon creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for 2011 and will resume February of 2012.

Salmonid creel sampling summaries and catch estimates for Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools can be found at the following link:

State Fish and Wildlife Mid-Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary

Bonneville Pool:

No report.

The Dalles Pool:

No report.

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers.

STURGEON

Recreational sturgeon fisheries on the lower Columbia River will resume for the early portion of 2012 under the same regulations as 2011.

Modifications to the 2012 sturgeon fishery will be considered at the January 26 Compact Hearing.

BUOY 10 UPSTREAM TO WAUNA POWERLINES:

Regulations for the 2012 sturgeon sport fishery from Wauna Powerlines (River Mile 40) downstream to Buoy 10, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries are currently as follows:

Allow the retention of white sturgeon seven days per week effective Sunday January 1, 2012 until further notice with a daily bag limit of one white sturgeon between 38 and 54-inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish.

Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited as per permanent regulations.

Catch and release of sturgeon may continue during retention closures.

WAUNA POWERLINES UPSTREAM TO BONNEVILLE DAM:

Regulations for the 2012 sturgeon sport fishery from Wauna Powerlines (River Mile 40) upstream to Bonneville Dam, including all adjacent Washington tributaries are currently as follows:

Allow the retention of white sturgeon three days per week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and prohibit the retention of sturgeon four days per week on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday beginning January 1, 2012 until further notice.

Retention of green sturgeon is prohibited as per permanent regulations.

Catch and release of sturgeon may continue during sturgeon retention closures.

The lower Willamette remains closed to sturgeon retention.

BONNEVILLE DAM UPSTREAM TO THE DALLES DAM:

Effective January 1, 2012 this section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of sturgeon seven days per week until the catch guideline is reached. The daily bag limit is one sturgeon between 38-54 inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish. The use of more than one single point barbless hook is prohibited.

THE DALLES DAM UPSTREAM TO MCNARY DAM:

Effective January 1, 2012 this section of the Columbia River is open to the retention of sturgeon seven days per week until the catch guidelines are reached. The daily bag limit is one sturgeon between 43-54 inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish. The use of more than one single point barbless hook is prohibited.

MCNARY DAM UPSTREAM TO THE OREGON/WASHINGTON BORDER:

The retention of sturgeon in this section of the Columbia River is currently closed through January 31, 2012. Catch and release is allowed during the retention closure. Effective February 1 through July 31, 2012 this section of the Columbia River will be open to the retention of sturgeon seven days per week with a daily bag limit of one sturgeon between 43-54 inches fork length and an annual limit of five fish. The use of more than one single point barbless hook is prohibited.

Sturgeon angler ffort was light due to inclement weather and high muddy flows this past weekend on the lower Columbia. Boaters should be mindful of large debris floating down river.

Sturgeon creel sampling summaries and catch estimates for Bonneville, The Dalles, and John Day pools can be found at the following link:

State Fish and Wildlife Mid-Columbia River mainstem sport sampling summary

Gorge Bank:

Weekend checking showed no catch for three bank anglers.

Gorge Boats:

No report.

Troutdale Bank:

No report.

Troutdale Boats:

No report.

Portland to Longview Bank:

Weekly checking showed three sublegal sturgeon released for three bank anglers.

Portland to Longview Boats:

Weekend checking showed one sublegal sturgeon released for three boats (five anglers).

Bonneville Pool:

Weekly checking showed two sublegal sturgeon released for 12 bank anglers; and 12 legal white sturgeon kept, plus 90 sublegal sturgeon released for 13 boats (36 anglers).

The Dalles Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for three bank anglers; and three sublegal sturgeon released for one boat (two anglers).

John Day Pool:

Weekly checking showed no catch for 24 bank anglers; and one sublegal sturgeon released for three boats (eight anglers).

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