Sturgeon retention remains closed in lower Columbia

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Sturgeon retention, scheduled to reopen Saturday in the Columbia River between the Wauna power lines near Cathlamet and Bonneville Dam, will remain closed.

Washington and Oregon rescinded the season in mid-September, but are reminding anglers again.

Retention was to reopen three days per week, however in winter-spring season anglers caught 1,942 legal sturgeon, which was about 96 percent of the harvest guideline.

"Catch rates during the early fishery were much higher than expected throughout the lower Columbia,'' said Brad James, a biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

This is the second straight year the fall fishery upstream of Wauna was eliminated.

Sturgeon retention downstream of Bonneville Dam will stay closed in 2014 due to declines in the population in recent years. The closure also applies to the Washington coast, Puget Sound and tributaries to those waters.

A update on lower Columbia sturgeon will be presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission on Dec. 6 or 7, when the panel meets in Olympia.