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For Immediate Release Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Sport sturgeon retention season to close in lower Columbia River

VANCOUVER, WASH. - Oregon and Washington fisheries managers today decided to limit the sport harvest of sturgeon for the rest of the year in the lower Columbia River downstream from Bonneville Dam.

The sturgeon retention season in the Columbia River estuary will remain closed for the rest of the year below the Wauna Powerlines located at River Mile 40 near Cathlamet, Wash. This area includes Youngs Bay. The retention season in the lower Columbia River between the Wauna Powerlines and Bonneville Dam, including the lower Willamette River and Multnomah Channel, will be closed Nov. 1 - Dec. 31, 2003. Catch and release sturgeon fishing is allowed during the retention closure.

The 2003 lower Columbia River sport sturgeon fishery is managed for an overall harvest quota of 32,000 sturgeon, split 60 percent (18,000 sturgeon) below the Wauna Powerlines and 40 percent (12,000 sturgeon) above the powerlines. Biologists reserved 2,000 sturgeon for a management buffer.

The catch in the estuary below the powerlines earlier this year totaled 18,400 sturgeon. The fishery was closed effective June 28, 2003, and was scheduled to reopen Oct. 1, 2003. Because the 18,000 sturgeon quota for this area was met, the estuary area will remain closed to retention for the rest of the year.

The area above the Wauna Powerlines was scheduled to be open to retention Jan. 1 - March 23 and July 1 - Dec. 31, 2003, or quota. The catch in September is higher than expected with exceptional catch rates from bank anglers immediately below Bonneville Dam. The 12,000 sturgeon quota is projected to be reached by the end of October.

The lower Columbia River sport sturgeon fishery season for 2004 and 2005 will be the subject of a public input process to begin in October. Regulations will be decided in December for the coming year.

The following describes the sturgeon seasons in place for 2003:

· The Columbia River mouth upstream to Wauna Powerlines, including Youngs Bay, closed to sturgeon retention for the remainder of the year, effective June 28, 2003.
· The lower Columbia River from Wauna Powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam, including the lower Willamette River and Multnomah Channel, closed to retention March 24 - June 30, 2003 and will close Nov. 1 - Dec. 31, 2003.
· The Columbia River from Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam closed to retention for the remainder of the year because quotas have been met.
· During the retention closures, catch and release angling may continue.
###

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Anne Pressentin Young (503) 947-6020
Internet: www.dfw.state.or.us Fax: (503) 947-6009
 

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Dang it! Why not close it now during salmon season and reopen it in november. Now I have to learn how to steelhead fish during those months. Gonna be a long winter for me. I suck at steelhead. :depressed:
 

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Thanks to the stupid gillnetters!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have seen numerous dead sturg floating recently in the CR b/c of the netting. WE NEED to step our foot down and get after these guys
:depressed: :mad:

[ 09-23-2003, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: fish-on ]
 

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As much as I hate to see this, it also doesn't surprise me either. Look at all the fishing pressure. On the lower Columbia, May,June & July you can't even find a parking place along side the road by the boat launching ramps. These fish get pounded on. It's another buoy 10 (I guess it is buoy 10 earlier version). Thirty years ago sturgeon were considered a trash fish, and hardly nobody fished for them here. I could start finger pointing, but that won't solve anything. Thanks for letting me vent..............Bobber Down
 

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Catch and Eat,
You up for a road trip? I know of a place, above a dam, with lots of steelhead, that are real stupid! :cheers:
 

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Well it doesn't surprise me either and I am kind of disappointed. :depressed:

On the up side (yes there is an up side!), the crowds will be small and I will still have a ton of fun catching and releasing. I'll also get to sleep in too. :tongue:

And Bernie your right, I too will be steelhead fishing a little more this year. That is not a bad thing either.

Or spend more time with my wife. :rolleyes:
 

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lets not get too crazy waterdog... " spend more time with my wife".... :depressed: remember theres a well stocked fish section in every wall mart, in the pet supply area. just wait until you have hooked into one of those bug eyed gold fish with that 14 foot rod using only 40 pound mono... talk about fishing fun.... go team gold fish... joco
 

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Wow! At 32 (33 on Nov. 9th in case anyone wants to buy me a present :grin: ) I'm starting to feel like an old guy who says stuff like "In the good old days, we used to be able to fish all summer for sturgeon, keep two fish per trip per person...."(and that was only a few years ago) This really sucks. I fish sturgeon exclusively in the estuary to get the good eaters and this year when the fish were there in good numbers the season was barely open a month! Maybe STGRule can chime in on this one - Three years ago I read that there were an estimated 3 million keeper size sturgeon from Bonneville to the mouth - is that still an accurate estimate (or was it true then?) I don't understand why they are closing this fishery if there are indeed that many fish around.
 

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Man this just sucks. Now what are we gonna do?
 

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KT: I believe the number is 1 million total sturgeon, not 3 million keepers. And while that sounds like a bunch you have to remember that only a part of those are legal and it isn't like having 1 million salmon that will replace themselves in 3 years. Sturgeon take 15 to 25 years to replace themselves. Add to this the exponential growth in angler-hours for sturgeon AND the management strategy of population growth along with harvest and you just can't take as many out as we would like. We have to make sure some of those fish survive to grow out of the legal slot or we won't get any more. Sturgeon can be vulnerable to harvest for 10ish years (depending on growth). That's a long time to risk being caught. Sturgeon just are not anything like salmon so sheer numbers aren't as meaningful as with salmon.
 

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The sturgeon retention season in the Columbia River estuary will remain closed for the rest of the year below the Wauna Powerlines located at River Mile 40 near Cathlamet, Wash. This area includes Youngs Bay. The retention season in the lower Columbia River between the Wauna Powerlines and Bonneville Dam, including the lower Willamette River and Multnomah Channel, will be closed Nov. 1 - Dec. 31, 2003.

so the willie and above the powerlines is still open for sturg ... :whazzup:
 

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This is a bummer.

now I don't understand fisheries science, but why instead of lowering limits and shortening seasons don't we have a slot limit of 54"-56" and release everything else?

It appears to me that the fish get eaten by us before they get to the magic 60" mark.

While I cannot speak for anyone byt myself, I would personally rather have a quality fishery with some bigger keepers for an extended period, than a short window of opportunity that is sturgie season today( which is gonna become 5 fish from our present 10 fish tag above and beyond the present closure.

Give the little ones more of a chance to grow up and you have more to fish for in the long run. Right?

Mark and the dog.
 

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3 days 3 keepers :grin: (cause I have nothin better to do)feeling good,then I come home and read this crap. :mad:
 

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What a bummer! They screwed us by closing the upper section when all of the big ones were here in May / June, and now they are taking away our good November bite! I guess I'll try to fill my gator tag in October and then learn how to use my new driftboat. (I guess my glass is still half full) :grin:
 

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Sturgeon Challenge say first weekend of January


I am by far no expert and have no hard numbers to back up my theory but I have put enough time on the water to give my opinion. Keeper sturgeon getting fished out? I don't think so. While everyone was busy playing bumper boats at B-10, we were hopping the bar, getting limits of silvers, then running back into the river for a little C and R to burn the rest of our bait. For every trip we did this, we cought no less than 10 keeper size sturgeon in about 2 hours of fishing. We tried this at 7 different spots that I have never pitched anchor at with the same or much better results. We have been catching keeper sturgeon in the Portland area while Salmon fishing the past two trips. I personally do not give a rip because I get my eaters every year and then catch and release. I do not like crowds and hate having to launch my boat at 3:00 am just to get to "my" spot. Looks like I don't have to worry about that this winter :cool:

I have much respect for the men and women that come up with rules and regulations that veer in the right direction of saving or preserving a fishery that I have a lot of passion for so I will not beat them up over this. I just hope this leads in the direction to better a resource we can all savor years down the road.
 

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The lower Columbia River sport sturgeon fishery season for 2004 and 2005 will be the subject of a public input process to begin in October.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">The public input they are refering to is YOU. Make sure YOU make your opinions heard where it actually counts. This would be at the meetings, not a fishing board. Pete posts the ODFW news releases just like this one and they will tell you when and where the meeting will be held.
 

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I hear everyone say I won't fish the Willamette for sturgeon because the Willamette is so DIRTY so why are they closing the Willamette too.....STG RULE are there to many keepers on the Willamette,I don't think so.....cause I fish there..... :grin: :grin: :grin: ( I hope this is brought up at that meeting..

[ 09-24-2003, 07:17 AM: Message edited by: Sturgeon 42 ]
 

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Tgis is very sad,I don't understand why they don't close it during salmon season and then reopen it after the salmon season is over.We keep getting less and less all the time.They waited to shut down the springer season down here I-5 to Bonniville untill after we bought our new liscense
in April.Funny how that worked out. :whazzup:
Am I disapointed-VERY good thing I already fis Steelhead or I'd be really upset.I quit sturgeon fishing this summer because all I was getting was shakers in the order of 40-50 a day,I don't really C&R because I don't believe in harassing the fish if you can't fish for a keeper,not that anything is wrong with it just the way I feel about it.
Bob
 
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