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Outdoor Journal

Reading Between the Lines
by Tim Rozewski

Maybe the hargest part of tagging a keeper sturgeon on the Columbia River is knowing the rules and regulations for where you want to fish. With so many factors to keep track of it tests the aptitude of even the most seasoned fisherman.
[visit ODFW regulations] or [view our exerts]

It wasn't all that long ago that you could purchase a sturgeon tag, go to the Columbia River, fish anywhere on the river, at just about anytime of the year and try to fill your tag. The hard part those days seemed to be figuring out what the migratory fish where sucking on best that week... is it herring, sand shrimp, smelt, shad, anchovies???

Today there are very specific rules for different stretches of the river and different times of the year, geared to ensure a healthy and substainable population of the white sturgeon. In some places, there are specific days you can tag fish, while other days you must catch and release. Other places have more strict length requirements, and all the areas are regulated on a quota to calendar variable.

Although the rules have evolved, you still need to know your baits and what is hot at the time. Fish feed on different bait fish and crustaceans at different times of the season, often following the bait that is most abundently being brought in on the high tide, or what is being churned up below the dams.

If you don't have your own boat, as most of us do not, not to worry. There are several quality guides, along the Columbia River, that specialize in keeper sturgeon. Oregon allows one fish per day per person this season, with a maximum of five fish per season. Each keeper must be between the lengths of 42 - 60 inches (except for the Astoria area between the the mouth of the Columbia and Wauna powerlines, where a keeper must be between 45-60 inches in length.

~Good Fishin' - Tim

Contact us for more information about Oregon's Sturgeon season!