For the first time since 2013, anglers will have the chance to keep sturgeon on the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.
Oregon and Washington fishery managers have approved two days for sturgeon retention — Saturday, Oct. 21 and Thursday, Oct. 26. The open area is the main stem of the Columbia River from the Wauna power lines, 40 miles from the river mouth, upstream to the fishing boundary near Bonneville Dam.
Harvest is limited to 1,245 fish, with a legal retention size of 44-50 inches from snout to the fork of the tail. The bag limit is one legal-size sturgeon per day, and no more than two for the year. If anglers have already retained two white sturgeon in 2017, they may not retain any more during these days.
By regulation, all sturgeon fishing is restricted to one single point, barbless hook.
Sturgeon retention was closed between 2014-2016 on the lower Columbia and Willamette rivers due to concerns about abundance, though the number of legal-size fish has improved since then, according to the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. However, the Willamette River from the falls to the river mouth remains closed to sturgeon retention, including Multnomah Channel. The Gilbert River also remains closed to all fishing.