New year, new rules await anglers.Byline: INSIDE THE OUTDOORS By Mike Stahlberg The Register-Guard
New rules for a new year await sturgeon sturgeon, primitive fish of the northern regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Unlike evolutionarily advanced fishes, it has a fine-grained hide, with very reduced scalation, a mostly cartilaginous skeleton, upturned tail fins, and a mouth set well back on the and smelt anglers on the Columbia River Columbia River
River, southwestern Canada and northwestern U.S. Rising in the Canadian Rockies, it flows through Washington state, entering the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Ore.; it has a total length of 1,240 mi (2,000 km). and its tributaries
Sturgeon anglers will be required to learn a new way of measuring sturgeon to determine whether they are of "keeper" size.
The rules, which take effect Jan. 1, also set new harvest quotas and season dates.
Currently, sturgeon are measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail to determine whether they fit within the size "slot" for retention.
In 2009 and beyond, the slot limit will be based upon measurements from the tip of the nose to the fork in the tail. The "fork length" method is used by fish biologists and scientists when measuring fish for their records and research. It is considered to be a more precise method of measurement.
The adjusted slot limits for sturgeon retention are as follows:
38- to 54-inches fork length for sturgeon caught downstream of The Dalles dalles
The rapids of a river that runs between the steep precipices of a gorge or narrow valley.
[French, pl. of dalle, gutter, from Old French, from Old Norse dæla.] Dam, including tributaries, coastal bays and estuaries. The slot limit shrinks to a fork length of 41 to 54 inches beginning May 9 in the Columbia River below the Wauna power lines.
43- to 54-inches fork length upstream of The Dalles Dam to the river's turn northward north·ward
adv. & adj.
Toward, to, or in the north.
A northern direction, point, or region.
north into Washington.
Those new slot limits are a simple conversion of the old method, say fishery managers, who emphasize that the goal of the change is to make measurements more accurate, not to change the size of fish kept.
"Anglers will find that the vast majority of fish that measured 60 inches under the old method will measure 54 inches with the new technique, and so on, down to the minimum size," says an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is an agency of the government of the U.S. state of Oregon responsible for programs protecting Oregon fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. statement on the changes.
"Based on decades of research, scientists concluded that the fork length measure is 90 percent of the total length measure for the average white sturgeon, and these slots were based on that conversion. The new technique does not mean anglers will be allowed to keep smaller or larger fish than before, only that the method of measuring `keepers' has changed."
(For an illustrated explanation of the new measurement technique, see: www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/docs/sturgeon_angler_notice_flyer.pdf.)
The bag limit for white sturgeon is one fish per day, with a maximum of five fish per year. Retention of green sturgeon Database entry includes a lengthy justification of why this species is near threatened
Allen, P. J., M. Nicholl, S. Cole, A. Vlazny, and J.J. Cech, Jr. 2006. Growth of Larval to Juvenile Green Sturgeon in Elevated Temperature Regimes. is prohibited.
Sturgeon anglers will again operate under overall harvest quotas on different sections of the river.
From the mouth of the Columbia approximately 40 miles upstream to the Wauna power lines, anglers will be allowed to keep a total of 15,500 white sturgeon for 2009. Season dates for this fishery are Jan. 1-April 30, May 9-June 28 and July 2-5, or until the harvest limit is achieved. Retention of legal-sized sturgeon will be allowed seven days a week during these dates.
As in past years, anglers in the estuary estuary (ĕs`chĕr'ē), partially enclosed coastal body of water, having an open connection with the ocean, where freshwater from inland is mixed with saltwater from the sea. fishery need to be aware that the length limit will change as the season progresses. From Jan. 1 through April 30, the 38- to 54-inch fork limit will apply. This size corresponds to the old 42- to 60-inch limit. From May 9, the length for sturgeon retention will be 41 to 54 inches, corresponding to the old 45- to 60-inch limit.
The midseason change in size limit was begun a few years ago to help extend the fishing season during the spring and summer months.
From the Wauna power lines upstream to Bonneville Dam Bonneville Dam, one of the major dams on the Columbia River where it passes through the Cascade Mts., between Oregon and Wash. The dam, 2,690 ft (820 m) long and 197 ft (60 m) high, was built between 1933 and 1943 by the U.S. , anglers will be allowed to keep 11,300 white sturgeon in 2009. This guideline includes the lower Willamette River Willamette River
River, northwestern Oregon, U.S. It flows north for 300 mi (485 km) into the Columbia River near Portland. Oregon's most populous cities are in its valley. The Fremont Bridge, a steel arch with a main span of 1,225 ft (373 m), crosses the river at Portland. upstream to Willamette Falls The Willamette Falls is a natural waterfall on the Willamette River between Oregon City and West Linn, Oregon, in the United States. It is the largest waterfall in the Pacific Northwest and the eighteenth largest in the world by water volume. as well as the Multnomah Channel Multnomah Channel is a branch of the Willamette River a few miles upstream of the Willamette's convergence with the Columbia. Multnomah Channel defines the western side of Sauvie Island before it too joins the Columbia near the city of St. Helens, Oregon. and all adjacent Washington tributaries.
The season dates adopted for this fishery are Jan. 1 through July 31 and Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, or until the harvest limit is achieved. However, retention of legal-sized sturgeon is allowed only Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
In the reservoirs between Bonneville Dam and McNary Dam McNary Dam, 7,265 ft (2,214 m) long and 183 ft (56 m) high, on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, near Umatilla, Oreg.; built 1947–56 by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. , sturgeon fishing will be open to retention seven days a week until harvest quotas are met. Harvest guidelines for these areas are unchanged from 2008, although they may be modified in February after Oregon and Washington officials and tribal fishery managers meet to review population data.
Meanwhile, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife also established a recreational smelt fishery in the Cowlitz River The Cowlitz River is a river in the state of Washington in the United States, a tributary of the Columbia River. Its tributaries drain a large region including the slopes of Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Mount St. Helens.
The Cowlitz has a 2,480 sq mi (4,017. on Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Jan. 1 through March 31.
As during the past three seasons, indicators point to another year of poor smelt returns to rivers in the Pacific Northwest, said Brad James, fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
But that trend could change this year if ocean conditions continue to show improvement, he said.
"Smelt populations tend to be highly variable, so we need to take a conservative approach to setting fishing seasons," James said. "We'll be watching the run closely, and will consider modifying the season if it turns out to be especially higher or lower than expected."
E-mail Mike Stahlberg at email@example.com.