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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 22, 2012 at 7:03 PM

Willamette River in Oregon closes for sturgeon retention after a brief two-day opening

It didn’t take long for anglers on the Willamette River in Oregon to catch their share of the sturgeon allocation.

“Oregon decided not to reopen the Willamete for sturgeon retention for the rest of the year after fishing for just two days (last Friday and Saturday),” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “It was scheduled to reopen this Friday and Saturday, but that won’t happen.”

Sport anglers caught 1,535 sturgeon during the two days it was open from a guideline of 1,768. Fishing was very good on Friday, but then dropped off by Saturday, and 7,202 anglers turned out for both days.

As sturgeon returns continue to dwindle in the Lower Columbia, this season’s catch guideline for the Willamette was down 30 percent from last year.

The Willamette River will remain open for sturgeon catch and release. Anglers in the Lower Columbia River may still catch and keep sturgeon on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

A check this past week in the Lower Columbia mainstem from Bonneville Dam downstream showed some legals were caught in the Camas/Washougal and Kalama areas.

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