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ODFW modifies Gilbert River fishing rules

CLACKAMAS, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has modified temporary rules previously adopted for sturgeon conservation in the Gilbert River.

The modified rules, which take effect on Saturday, May 13, restore some fishing opportunities for anglers pursuing warmwater fish species and restore angling at the Big Eddy fishing pier near Sturgeon Lake, which is located on Sauvie Island near Portland.

Under the modified temporary rule, angling will be allowed using only artificial flies and lures May 13-June 15. Angling with bait will be prohibited during this period to reduce the potential to target and catch sturgeon. The area will remain closed to all sturgeon angling, including catch-and-release, the entire year to reduce illegal harvest.

ODFW recently closed the Gilbert River to all fishing April 24-June 15. However, fishery managers decided to revisit that decision after further discussions with anglers who suggested that warmwater fisheries could continue without harming sturgeon if the use of bait was prohibited during these periods of high sturgeon concentration.

“We are always interested in working with responsible anglers to find solutions that provide both angling opportunity and species protection,” said Tucker Jones, ODFW’s Ocean Salmon and Columbia River Program manager.

The new rules are applicable from the Gilbert River fishing pier, near the confluence with Multnomah Channel, upstream approximately four miles to Sturgeon Lake.

For several years, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife officers have documented frequent illegal activities, including sturgeon poaching along the Gilbert River. Troopers conducted surveillance in this area and apprehended poachers hiding sturgeon in brush, backpacks and vehicles, fishing at night, and other crimes.

For more information, please visit ODFW’s online Willamette Zone Sport Fishing Regulation Update Page.