ASTORIA - The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted new angling rules that amend the definition of a "fin clip" and reduce the annual sturgeon bag limit to five fish at its monthly meeting on Friday, Aug. 8. The rules go into effect Jan. 1, 2004. No regulations changes were adopted for the Central, Northeast, Southeast and Snake River zones.

Statewide Regulations:

• The annual sturgeon bag limit will drop from 10 to five fish per year, which will lengthen the retention periods and spread out the catch among anglers in the Columbia River. The rule was adopted statewide for consistency among angling zones and because most sturgeon are harvested from the Columbia River in Oregon.

• The definition for "fin-clip" will change to "a healed scar where a fish fin has been clipped." The new rule will allow anglers to legally harvest hatchery-bred fish with partial fin clips. In most fisheries, nearly all of the hatchery fish have a fin clip to distinguish them from naturally produced fish.

Columbia River Zone:

• Harvest of sockeye salmon will not be allowed under permanent regulations in the Columbia River Zone. A temporary rule will be adopted to allow sockeye harvest if the number migrating past Bonneville Dam rises above 75,000.

• Retention of spring chinook with an adipose fin-clip or left ventral fin-clip will be allowed under the permanent regulations in the Youngs Bay, Blind Slough and Knappa Slough "select area" fisheries in the lower Columbia River.

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