Public meeting on November 26th set for 2014 Bonneville Pool sturgeon season

Columbia River

by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff

OLYMPIA - Staff from the Washington and Oregon departments of fish and wildlife will discuss options for managing the 2014 recreational white sturgeon fishery in the Bonneville Pool of the Columbia River at a public meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 26 in The Dalles.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. at ODFW's The Dalles Screens Shop, located at 3561 Klindt Drive in The Dalles.

Agenda items will include a discussion of harvest guidelines and potential season structures for Bonneville Pool in 2014, as well as a proposed sturgeon spawning sanctuary immediately below The Dalles Dam.

Brad James, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said he also expects the closure of sturgeon retention in 2014 below Bonneville Dam to be a topic of discussion.

Both states approved the ban on sturgeon retention below the dam effective Jan. 1, 2014, due to concerns about ongoing declines in the white sturgeon populations in the lower river.

"We're likely to see more anglers fishing the Bonneville Pool next year with sturgeon retention closed below the dam," James said. "We look forward to hearing ideas from local sturgeon anglers about how best to accommodate this change."

Catch-and-release fishing is currently permitted in the Bonneville Pool, which is scheduled to open to retention fishing Jan. 1.

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