In hopes of curtailing a dwindling sturgeon population in the Columbia River, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission approved to cut the sturgeon annual limit.
Beginning May 1, anglers will be allowed to keep two legal-size sturgeon (down from five annually) this seasbn, and no retention will be implemented during the 2014 season. Oregon anglers will still be allowed to keep onlt one sturgeon annually this season.
Orginally the Commission last week decided on a one sturgeon annual limit for Washington anglers, but decided at a Friday (March 15) meeting to change it.
The current new ruling applies to areas in the Lower Columbia River below Bonneville Dam, Puget Sound and coastal estuaries, and all tributaries.
Sturgeon anglers in the Columbia River have faced reduced catches and number of days on the water to protect waning fish populations for the fourth year in a row.
The Columbia estuary is open daily for sturgeon catch-and-keep until April 30, and from May 11 through June 30.
The area from the Wauna power lines near Cathlamet to Bonneville is open for sturgeon catch-and-keep Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through June 15, and reopens Oct. 19 through Dec. 31. Seasons could close sooner of catches exceed guidelines. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed when retention is closed.
(Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times archive)