Anglers can catch, keep sturgeon beginning Jan. 1

A recreational fishing season for white sturgeon in the Bonneville Reservoir will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, and end on Jan. 19.

That’s according to an announcement by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The agency notes that the season is open to white sturgeon retention seven days a week.

The area includes the Columbia River and tributaries from Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam (Bonneville Reservoir). 

Fish and wildlife officials established the winter-period white sturgeon retention season because they determined that closing the fishery to sturgeon retention Jan. 20 will reserve enough fish for a summer retention season.

This decision was made by fishery managers from Washington and Oregon at a joint public hearing Dec. 11.

The harvest will be monitored during the season, with a check-in planned for mid-January to consider whether modifications are necessary to balance the harvest between winter and summer seasons.

Fishery managers will meet again in March or April to set dates for the summer retention season and consider a proposal to establish a May to July spawning sanctuary downstream of The Dalles Dam.

Catch-and-release fishing for sturgeon will still be allowed between Bonneville and The Dalles dams when retention is not allowed.

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