Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

July 17, 2015

Angling for sturgeon to close above Bonneville Dam

Action: The Columbia River and Snake River and all tributaries will close to all sturgeon angling and retention.

Species affected: Sturgeon

Effective date and locations: July 18, 2015, until further notice

Mainstem Columbia River and all tributaries from Bonneville Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam

Snake River and all tributaries from mouth upstream to Oregon border

Reason for action: Over the past 1-2 weeks, reports have been received of sturgeon mortalities in areas upstream of Bonneville Dam. The frequency and magnitude of the reported mortalities have increased sharply in recent days. The majority of these accounts have reported the sturgeon to be large, over-size fish generally considered as broodstock. At least 80 sturgeon mortalities have been observed by agency or enforcement personnel to date, primarily in John Day Pool. The cause of the mortalities is currently unknown but the low flows/high water temperatures affecting salmonids are suspected as a major contributor.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife held a Joint State Hearing today and both states agreed to close all fishing for sturgeon in joint waters above Bonneville Dam. In a separate action, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has decided to close all fishing for sturgeon upstream from the Washington/Oregon border near McNary Dam, including the Columbia and Snake rivers and their tributaries within Washington state waters.

The closure to all fishing (including catch-and-release) is an effort to reduce any additional stress on sturgeon, in particular the oversize broodstock populations.

Information contact: (360) 696-6211. For latest information press *1010.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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