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The End of Sturgeon

October 19th, 2013 · 2 Comments


If you’ve been reading my blog for a few years, then you know about the plight of the sturgeon. If you haven’t here’s the short story: Sturgeon quota numbers have been reduced by 30% every year, for the last several years. Their numbers are still declining rapidly. ODFW and WDFW have finally decided to close the sturgeon fisheries for a number of years in hopes that the Sturgeon population in the Columbia system will rebound.

Today is that last day. It’s a beautiful day too (at least, it will be). But THOUSANDS of people will be on the Willamette today, hoping to catch what many consider “their last sturgeon.” They are angry with the fisheries department and have no clue what is going on. Among them are probably a few dozen kayak fishermen competing in what I’ve heard is “the last sturgeon tourney” which was cobbled together and announced just last Thursday.

I’m at home, will probably be here all day. I pretty much gave up sturgeon fishing a long time ago, only going out once with my father for the first time we’ve fished together in a long time. I cannot condone the masses thronging to the river just to put one last major dent into a fishery that is already been through so much loss. I cannot understand it.

People will still be able to fish sturgeon. The tournaments can continue. The sturgeon, however, have been spared the dinner table. All sturgeon will have to return to the water. But since these folks can’t comprehend the importance, the necessity, of a catch and release sturgeon fishery, they will persist and fish all day, to take that last fish to the feast. No matter the harm.

Tags: Fishing Report

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kayakfishingfever // Oct 19, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Isaac, Here in NY State a total ban was started in 1996 on The Atlantic Sturgeon. This followed years of Atlantic state’s research. http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/37121.html

    History of the commercial over harvest from the 1800’s through the 1990’s is also on that page.

    The NY Sturgeon Estuary spider webs throughout the state, not just the Hudson River. A juvenile was tagged in Black Lake this year. They cannot be pursued for catch and release anywhere in the state. Of course accidental catching occasionally occurs.

    Belgian Sturgeon are threatened to extinction for the pursuit of Caviar. During the Russian political government changes and the fall of The USSR, no one was in charge of the Environment and the commoners went full force bringing the Caspian Sea populations to a record low.

    As you know these fish take years to mature to a mating age. People may not fully understand this.

    Worldwide there are 25 species in the Sturgeon family. All of which are in trouble from overfishing, illegal fishing, pollution, and habitat destruction.

    I have always thought them to be uniquely beautiful and to this day have never seen one alive or dead.

    This ban is a sad circumstance for your state’s fishing. Yet sadder still for the population of a slow growing fish that existed before recorded time and is common in fossil records.

    Thanks for letting me hop on a soap box.
    Terry Sturtevant

  • 2 The Nothing // Oct 19, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Thanks, Terry. You said it well.

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