Sturgeon Fishing on the Willamette River

My parents and sister flew up from Reno for the weekend to meet our baby son Julian. My Step Mom, Katie, and Sister had a baby shower to attend on Saturday, so my friend John took my Dad and I out catch-and-release sturgeon fishing on the Willamette River for the day. We launched his North River boat at Meldrum Bar in Gladstone and headed downstream in search of a deep pocket with enough flow to anchor and fish.

We found a spot in about 90 feet of water, but the flow was not spectacular. We ended up anchoring anyway and idled the kicker motor in reverse to keep the boat relatively straight. The plethora of pleasure boaters did not help and the continual battering of waves was increasingly annoying as the day progressed.

Luckily the sturgeon were biting. My Dad was the first one to hook and land a fish. It was a small sturgeon, but the first he had ever caught. He was pretty stoked and excited to catch another. After that I caught a small one, and then my Dad hooked into a larger fish. He fought it for awhile before landing it. It was keeper size, but the season isn't currently open for retention of sturgeon in the Willamette River. We released the giant and watched it quickly swim into the depths below.

Dad with a Small Sturgeon     Dad Fighting a Large Sturgeon on the Willamette River
Dad's Larger Sturgeon     Too Bad We Can't Keep Him

Later in the day I hooked into a real nice sturgeon. It nearly pulled me off the boat several times as I fought it. We brought it right up to the side of the boat where John released it. It was an oversize sturgeon maybe seven feet in length. They are beautiful powerful creatures.

We caught several more fish before calling it a day. We eneded up catching 11 fish total. My Dad caught 6 and I 5. For some reason it just wasn't John's day. He was a great guide though! Before heading back to the boat ramp, we took a quick run upriver to show my Dad Willamette Falls. It was a great day with my Dad and friend and soon I will be able to share fishing adventures with my son too.

An Even Bigger Sturgeon     Willamette Falls

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