Four-day sturgeon season set for lower Willamette

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PORTLAND — Sturgeon retention in the lower Willamette River, including Multnomah Channel, will be open for four days this year — Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 24-25.

The brief season is in responsed to a continuing drop in the population of legal-size sturgeon in the lower Columbia River. Washington and Oregon agreed last week to reduce the harvest rate from 22.5 percent to 16 percent for 2012.

Overall, the reduction in the number of sturgeon that can be harvest is 38 percent. The guideline is between 1,768 and 2,022 sturgeon.

"Our goal is to open a four-day fishery,'' said Steve Williams, an assistant administrator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "However, we will be monitoring the fishery closely to make sure we stay within the harvest guideline.''

The season applies to the Willamette downstream of Willamette Falls in Oregon City. The daily bag limit will be one fish with fork length between 38 and 54 inches.