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Lower Columbia Subpopulation Status and Trends

Information and data adapted from Parker, B., T, Rien, B. James, R. Beamesderfer. 2013. Review Draft Columbia Basin White Sturgeon Planning Framework. Portland, Or.

To view all subpopulations in the basin click here
Of the 26 white sturgeon subpopulations, the Lower Columbia subpopulation is the most abundant and productive and is considered by managers and researchers as healthy and currently not at risk, despite declining since 1995. In 2011, managers estimated an abundance of 72,700 white sturgeon (42-60 inches) downstream from Bonneville Dam to the mouth of the Columbia River.

Monitoring results indicate that survival of juvenile white sturgeon through their first year of life (i.e., recruitment) was lower in 2010 than any of the six previous years and was significantly lower than the 5-year average. The 2010 results are concerning since recent declines have been observed relative to the abundance of white sturgeon that are characterized as “legal” (42-48 inches).

As white sturgeon abundance has continued to decline, managers have been required to modify regulations to limit harvest. In 2011, a total of 14,500 fish were harvested (sport and commercial), significantly less than the 10-year average of 37,869 and about 4,000 fewer than were harvested in 2010. It is anticipated that beginning in 2014, there will be a closure of white sturgeon retention seasons in the Columbia River below Bonneville Dam.


* Abundance was not estimated for 1994 and 2004.








Not estimated.


* Monitoring did not occur during 2007.
* For a description of the methods used to estimate the index value that is associated with the number of fish that survive during their first year , please visit Monitoring Method website.

Hatchery Releases

No releases


See other data snapshots that help us gauge the abundance of fish and wildlife:

Subpopulations for Lower Columbia Management Unit

Other Management Units - Subpopulations