CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Fisheries managers from Oregon and Washington will reopen the Columbia River to recreational sturgeon and coho fishing.
In a joint state hearing of the fish and wildlife departments from both states late yesterday, fisheries managers decided to open the river for two additional days of recreational sturgeon fishing – Saturday, Oct. 19 and Thursday, Oct. 24 – from the Wauna power lines at River Mile 40 upstream to the fishing deadlines at Bonneville Dam, including the Cowlitz River.
Approximately 720 fish were landed during the initial three days of the fishery, leaving a balance of about 510 fish on the 1,230 harvest guideline. Effort and catch rates met expectations for the first retention day but have dropped off sharply since then.
The daily bag limit is one legal-sized white sturgeon and up to two fish may be retained for the year. Anglers are reminded that the annual limit applies to any/all 2019 retention fisheries, including those that occurred earlier this year upstream or downstream of Bonneville Dam. A legal-sized sturgeon is defined 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 2019 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations.)
The states also decided to reopen the mainstem Columbia to retention of coho salmon beginning Friday, Oct. 18, and continuing through Oct. 31, from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line upstream to The Dalles Dam. The daily adult bag limit is two coho. Only hatchery coho may be retained downstream of the Hood River Bridge. All steelhead and all salmon except coho must be released. All other permanent regulations remain in effect, including retention rules for coho jacks. For the area from the Tongue Point/Rocky Point line upstream to Bonneville Dam, anglers are reminded that the states previously agreed to allow retention of hatchery coho and hatchery steelhead effective Nov. 1 with a two adult daily bag limit (no more than one steelhead).
For more information and regulation updates, please see ODFW’s Columbia River Zone online.