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The closure will take place from April 29 through July 31 on the Columbia River between the upper and lower ends of Sand Island and corresponding markers on the Oregon shoreline.
The action was prompted by heavy catch rates at the site, which has attracted hundreds of anglers the past few weeks.
"The catch rates at this one site alone were putting the rest of the Wauna to Bonneville sturgeon season at risk," said John North, manager of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Columbia River Fisheries Program.
The sturgeon retention season on a 100-mile stretch of the Columbia from Bonneville Dam downstream to the Wauna power lines is scheduled to continue through July 31 and resume again during October-December, or until a total harvest guideline of 4,835 sturgeon is achieved. Fishery managers estimate that approximately 1,700 sturgeon have already been kept in this section of the river since the beginning of the year, with most of those coming from the Sand Island slough area. Based on the catch rates they were seeing at Rooster Rock, they determined that if this site was not closed, the retention season on the adjoining section of the river from Bonneville downstream to Wauna would likely need to be reduced.
The season for retention of sturgeon is already closed in Bonneville and John Day reservoirs, where harvest quotas were achieved in February and March. The Willamette River, Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River closed effective in March 1 but are scheduled to reopen Nov 1. Below Wauna at River Mile 40 and downstream to the mouth, the sturgeon retention season is scheduled for Jan 1- Apr 30 and May 22-June 26, or until a guideline of 9,600 is met.
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