Sturgeon population slowly improving in lower Columbia

The Columbian –

State biologists estimate the population of legal-size sturgeon in the lower Columbia River increased 5 percent in 2014, the first year of a total ban on retention by sport and commercial fishermen.

Brad James of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife told the bistate Columbia River Recreational Advisor Group last week the population between the coast and Bonneville Dam is estimated to have been 130,990 in January 2014 and will be 138,200 in January of 2015.

Legal-size sturgeon are fish between 38 inches and 54 inches, measured from the tip of the snout to the fork in the tail.

Members of the state Fish and Wildlife Commission will be briefed on Columbia River sturgeon on Saturday in Tumwater. Several members of the sport-fishing advisory group asked for resumption of at least a small sturgeon retention season in 2015.

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