LONGVIEW - The states of Oregon and Washington decided to stay the course today and adopted 2006 Columbia River sturgeon fishing regulations nearly identical to those in place for 2005.

The rulemaking commissions for both states said earlier this month that they saw no biological reason to make changes to the harvest sharing plan or harvest rules currently guiding sport anglers. Oregon and Washington set the allowable harvest of sturgeon in the lower Columbia at 40,000 fish, with 80 percent allocated to the sport fishery and 20 percent to the commercial fishery.

The states will consider additional protections of sturgeon in spawning areas downstream of Bonneville and McNary dams, but no decision was made today.

Starting Jan. 1, 2006, the following rules will be in place in addition to the permanent rules printed in the 2006 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations:

Columbia River mouth at Buoy 10 upstream to Wauna powerlines at river mile 40, including Youngs Bay and all adjacent Washington tributaries:

• Jan. 1 to April 30, 2006: Sturgeon retention allowed seven days per week. Retained sturgeon must be a minimum of 42 inches long and a maximum of 60 inches long.

• May 13 to July 4, 2006: Sturgeon retention allowed seven days a week. Retained sturgeon must be a minimum of 45 inches long and a maximum of 60 inches long.

• May 1 to May 12 and July 5 to Dec. 31, 2006: Sturgeon retention prohibited. Catch and release fishing allowed.

Wauna powerlines upstream to Bonneville Dam, including all adjacent Washington tributaries, Multnomah channel and the lower Willamette River upstream to Willamette Falls:

• Jan. 1 to July 31 and Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2006: Sturgeon retention allowed Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Retained sturgeon must be a minimum of 42 inches and a maximum of 60 inches.

• Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2006: Sturgeon retention prohibited. Catch and release fishing allowed.

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