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Columbia River Sturgeon Fishing

A triple header of Columbia River Sturgeon

Columbia River Sturgeon fishing offers an amazing combination of scenic beauty with the ability to catch huge fish. We guide Sturgeon fishing charters in the lower 140 miles of river from the mouth in Astoria, Oregon, to Bonneville Dam. Opportunities are seasonal and each location offers a different experience. Take a look around and contact us on our Questions & Reservations page or give us a call to allow us to help guide you in the right direction for your Columbia River Sturgeon fishing trip.

*Update: Winter 2023 Columbia River Sturgeon Retention*

The Columbia River will open in the Bonneville Pool and The Dalles Pool on January 2nd, 2023. Sturgeon may be retained on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays through the season. The Bonneville Pool will be open through March 22nd, with a legal catch size of 38-54″. The Dalles Pool will be open through March 4th, with a legal catch size of 43-54″. Measurement is from the nose of the fish to the fork of the tail, with fish weighing in the 15-40 lb range. The winter season gives us an opportunity to retain sturgeon in the Columbia Gorge area. While reeling in sturgeon is always an adventure, there’s nothing like adding in the possibility of taking a sturgeon home with you at the end of the day.

Portland Area Sturgeon Fishing: January – June

Sturgeon are available in both the Columbia and Willamette throughout the first half of the calendar year. This fishery is catch and release, but provides some great action. During Springer season, we often fish for both species during the same trip.

Sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River is great fun for kids.

Summer 2022 Columbia River Keeper Sturgeon Season: May 11 – June 4

The Columbia River Keeper Sturgeon season will run from May 11th through June 4th, on Wednesdays, and Saturdays, with the addition of Memorial Day (May 30th) . This short season in the Astoria estuary books quickly as it is the only time we’re allowed to retain sturgeon in the area. These fish are known for their tender white meat and offer anglers with fairly consistent activity. Legal catch size is 44-50”, measured from the nose of the fish to the fork of the tail, with fish weighing in the 20-40 lb range. The Columbia River Keeper Sturgeon season gives anglers old and young, expert and novice, the opportunity to wrangle these prehistoric fish while creating lasting memories during their day on the water.

Columbia River Trophy Sturgeon: May – July

The Columbia River is famous for its oversize sturgeon. Some of these fish will weigh in excess of several hundred pounds, while a typical fish is in the 125 pound class. These fish have mouths the size of hubcaps and as you can imagine, can really pull. Fighting belts and big time gear is the only way to take on these fish. I have people come from all over the country to test their metal against these trophy size sturgeon and have yet to see anyone less than impressed upon seeing these giants for the first time.

Astoria Estuary Sturgeon: June – July

The Columbia River estuary in Astoria provides sturgeon anglers with some of the best sturgeon fishing of the year. The estuary sturgeon provide fishermen with the opportunity to catch fish in as little as a five feet of water as they move up on flats in search of clams. An incredible amount of water is available and often you’ll hook numbers of fish with no other boats in sight. We’ll regularly hook fish 6, 7, and 8 feet long. For more on this great fishery, please visit my Astoria Estuary Sturgeon Fishing page.

A limit of keeper sturgeon from the Columbia River in Astoria

Bonneville Sturgeon: October – November

For a period of about a month, the area below Bonneville opens again and fishing can be borderline clinical. Many of these fish haven’t seen baits in months due to the summer closure and have flocked to the area to feed on the dying Columbia River Salmon. Because of the brief window, this isn’t as popular of a fishery, but can be just as productive as any of the year’s sturgeon fisheries.

For any questions you might have, or to simply book a trip, feel free to contact us on our questions & reservations page.