Willamette sturgeon retention season start delayed again

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PORTLAND — Sturgeon retention season in the lower Willamette River will be delayed until some time in February.

Traditionally, the opener is Jan. 1 in the Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls plus Multnomah Channel and Gilbert River on Sauvie Island.

With the lower Columbia quota being reduced again in 2012, the retention season in the lower Willamette is anticipated to be even shorter than the 12 days in 2011, said John North of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"I expect the retention season to last just a couple of weekends,'' North said.

Oregon officials will asked their Fish and Wildlife Commission for policy direction on Jan. 6 and announce the dates for the lower Willamette retention season in mid-January.

Final regulations for the sturgeon fishery in the lower Columbia will be set at a Washington-Oregon hearing on Jan. 26.

Sturgeon retention in the Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day pools of the mid-Columbia River does reopen seven days a week on Jan. 1.