09/28/2016- John Snyder – Fishing The Columbia
2016 Columbia River Fishing Report:
WDFW Fishing Rule Change
WDFW extends sturgeon fishing, raises limit in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs
Action: Extend the harvest season for sturgeon
Effective Dates: Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, 2016
Species affected: White sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length
Location: Priest Rapids Reservoir (from Priest Rapids Dam to Wanapum Dam) and Wanapum Reservoir (from Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam)
Reason for action: Harvestable surplus of hatchery-origin white sturgeon still remain in both reservoirs. Removal of these hatchery-origin fish is consistent with ongoing actions to rebuild depressed populations of wild-origin white sturgeon in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.
- A daily limit of three (3) sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length may be harvested from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.
- Legal-size fish may be harvested whether or not they are marked by a fin clip, hole punch, or tag.
- Only one single-point barbless hook and bait is allowed per pole while fishing for sturgeon. However, anglers may fish with two poles with the purchase of a Two-Pole Endorsement license.
- Anglers are not required to record sturgeon harvested from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs on a Catch Record Card. Catch-and-release fishing is allowed in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs after the daily limit is harvested.
- Any sturgeon not to be harvested must be released immediately. Oversized sturgeon cannot be removed completely or in part from the water.
- There is no annual harvest limit for sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length caught in the Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.
- Night fishing for sturgeon is prohibited. In the field, anglers must retain eggs with intact carcass of fish from which they came.
All closed-water areas in and around Wanapum, Priest Rapids, and Rock Island dams remain in effect. Check the current sport fishing rules pamphlet for complete details (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/
Daily and annual limits, harvestable slot length limits, Catch Record Card recording requirements, and all other sport fishing rules governing sturgeon harvest in all other legally open fisheries still apply.
Information contact: Chad Jackson, District Fish Biologist, (509) 754-4624, ext. 250 or Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624, ext. 224