States decline to set June retention sturgeon fishery on lower Columbia River

Columbia River

Photo Credit: Courtesy of OR Department of Fish & Wildlife

by OR Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

CLACKAMAS, Ore.—The departments of fish and wildlife from Oregon and Washington declined to set a June retention sturgeon fishery for recreational anglers on the lower Columbia River when they met by conference call today.

In a public hearing, fisheries managers from the two states were presented information on the current status of white sturgeon and a possible one-day sturgeon retention season on the mainstem below Wauna Powerlines this coming Saturday. The spring sturgeon retention season had been delayed due to COVID-19 virus restrictions. 

Public testimony was taken and support for the one-day fishery was mixed. Fishery managers disagreed about the best use of the fish to provide equity, opportunity, and for the greatest economic impact, with Oregon supporting a compromise solution with a one-day June fishery and some potential opportunity in September while Washington wanted to reserve the full quota for use in a September fishery.

At this time, managers are not ready to recommend a season structure for sturgeon retention in the area above Wauna Powerlines, though Oregon may investigate opportunities for the lower Willamette River.

Recreational steelhead and shad fishing remain open on portions of the Columbia under permanent rules. Some summer salmon fishing (sockeye) opens June 16. Some catch-and-release sturgeon fishing is also allowed, see the latest on Columbia River fishing regulations at

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