CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Recreational fishermen will have two days in September to get out on the Columbia River to catch and retain white sturgeon under rules approved today by the Oregon and Washington departments of fish and wildlife. The two-day recreational fishery will take place on consecutive Saturdays – Sept. 15 and Sept. 22 – in September. This year’s white sturgeon season is about two weeks earlier than last year when inclement weather impacted success rates and overall harvest.
Recreational fishermen will head to the water this year with an overall harvest guideline of 1,231 fish for the two days. Like all Columbia River fisheries, the white sturgeon fishery guideline-driven, meaning managers may close the season early once the harvest guideline is achieved.
The effective area is the Columbia River and all adjacent Washington tributaries from the Wauna power lines, which cross the Columbia River about 40 miles from the river mouth, upstream to the fishing deadline at Bonneville Dam. The lower Willamette River remains closed to sturgeon retention at this time.
The bag limit is one legal-sized white sturgeon per day and up to two for the year. ODFW defines a legal sturgeon as one measuring 44-50 inches fork length. Anglers are cautioned to pay close attention to the instructions for measuring sturgeon. Fork length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the fork in the tail fin with the fish laying on its side on a flat surface and the ruler positioned flat under the fish. (See Page 12 of the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.
For more information and regulation updates, please see ODFW’s Columbia River Zone online.