ODFW To Set Winter Sturgeon Season On Bonneville Pool

The Bonneville Pool and adjacent tributaries of the Columbia River will be open to the retention of white sturgeon 7-days-a-week from Jan. 1 through March 1, 2015, unless the harvest guideline is reached sooner. The Bonneville Pool extends from the Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam.

Under the split season management structure adopted today, Oregon and Washington fishery managers also anticipate the pool will re-open to a summer retention season starting in June 2015, assuming fish remain available on the harvest guideline.

Managers estimate 40 percent of the 1,100 fish harvest guideline for the pool will be caught during the winter retention period, leaving opportunity for a June re-opening.  However, winter catch rates can be highly variable and anglers should be alert to the possibility of early closure.

The daily bag limit is one sturgeon between 38 and 54-inches fork length, and the annual limit is two.

Retention sturgeon fisheries also will open as planned in The Dalles and John Day pools on Jan. 1, 2015. Those fisheries will continue 7-days-a-week until harvest guidelines are achieved (see ODFW website). The daily bag limit in these areas is one sturgeon between 43 and 54-inches fork length, and the annual limit is two.

Anglers fishing the Bonneville Pool in January may see tribal fishers deploying gill nets in designated areas to collect and tag white sturgeon as part on an on-going sturgeon research program. Among other scientific uses, this work is used to calculate the size and status of the sturgeon population in these reservoirs.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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