2010 Hot Spot A No-Fish Area For 2011

To get ahead of the “extremely high catch rates” of sturgeon seen at a little slough of the Columbia River last winter and spring, fishery managers are implementing an area-closure there starting Jan. 1.

Angling will be prohibited in the slough between Sand Island and Rooster Rock State Park from New Years through April 30. The area is at approximately milepost 26 on I-84 east of Portland.

Two news articles last April had it that as many as 75 anglers gathered there at a time to target the fish, and they caught an estimated 1,000 sturgeon this past winter and spring.

The specific area runs from a line between the upstream end of Sand Island, located east of Rooster Rock State Park on the Columbia River, to a marker on the Oregon shore, downstream to a line between the lower end of Sand Island and a marker on the Oregon shore.

“In the winter of 2010, a large aggregation of white sturgeon were present in a slough at Rooster Rock State Park,” reads an emergency rule-change notice from WDFW. “Sturgeon catch rates in this specific area were extremely high in the winter and spring, which jeopardized the 2010 season structure for the gorge fishery above the Wauna powerlines. In April of 2010, the states closed Sand Island slough to all angling through the month of July. Implementing the same action earlier in the season would likely stabilize the fishery, and reduce the potential need for inseason modifications. This rule should not displace non-sturgeon anglers as the slough receives little effort for other species.”

Sturgeon fishing in the Columbia above the Wauna Powerlines is currently open for retention Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and will continue into 2011 with the same season structure.  Seasons will be reviewed in early February.

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