Sturgeon Season Above Oregon's McNary Dam Pushed Back to Feb. 1

Sturgeon Season Above Oregon's McNary Dam Pushed Back to Feb. 1

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to remind anglers that the retention season for white sturgeon on the Columbia River above McNary Dam is limited to six months beginning in 2011. Under the new rules, sturgeon retention from McNary Dam upstream to Priest Rapids Dam and in the lower Snake River is permitted seven days a week from Feb. 1 through July 31. Previously, the retention season in this area was open year-around.

The rule change was adopted to reflect similar changes in sturgeon retention above McNary adopted last spring by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The two states jointly manage the Columbia from its mouth upstream to the Oregon/Washington border, including a 17-mile mile section above McNary Dam.

"Whenever possible, we want our regulations for concurrent waters to be consistent with those of our partners in Washington," said John North, manager of ODFW's Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program.

The retention sturgeon seasons in Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day reservoirs remain unchanged and will open seven days a week on Jan. 1 as outlined in ODFW's 2011 Sport Fishing Regulations. Each reservoir has its own management guidelines and the seasons will continue until the harvest limits are met. The current harvest limits for each pool are as follows: Bonneville - 1,400; The Dalles - 300; John Day - 165.

Between Bonneville Dam and The Dallas Dam, sturgeon must be 38-54 inches fork length to be retained. From The Dallas Dam upstream, the slot limit is 43-54 inches fork length. The bag limit is one sturgeon per day and a maximum of five for the year. Anglers are required to use single point barbless hooks. Catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is allowed year-around.

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