Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

April 17, 2006

Sturgeon spawning sanctuary established downstream of John Day Dam

Action: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife established a sanctuary for spawning sturgeon in The Dalles Pool by prohibiting both boat and bank angling for sturgeon in the mainstem Columbia River from the west end of the grain silo at Rufus, Oregon 2.4 miles upstream to John Day Dam.

Effective date: 12:01 a.m., May 1, through 11:59 p.m. July 31, 2006.

Species affected: Sturgeon

Location: From a line crossing the Columbia at a right angle to the thread of the river from the west end of the grain silo on the Oregon shore at Rufus to the Washington shore upstream to John Day Dam.

Reason for action: Broodstock sturgeon staging just downstream from John Day Dam to spawn require increased protection from adverse impacts resulting from excess handling in the recreational fishery, including stress induced reproductive failure and mortality. The current assessment of the white sturgeon population in The Dalles Pool identified a substantial reduction in the number of legal-size fish. This will result in reduced recruitment to broodstock for this depleted population that frequently experiences year-class failures. The need for the sanctuary was discussed with Tribal co-managers in February. A proposal to make the sanctuary permanent will be submitted through the 2007 Permanent Sportfishing Rule process for Commission consideration.

Other information: The retention fishery for sturgeon in The Dalles Pool closed April 8 when the 100 fish harvest guideline was reached. Catch and release fishing is allowed downstream of the sanctuary throughout the year and throughout the reservoir prior to May and from August through December.

Information contact: Brad James, (360) 906-6716.

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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