Regional News

Lake Roosevelt to open for white sturgeon fishing

May 25, 2017

Action: Open a harvest fishery for white sturgeon in Lake Roosevelt.

Species affected: White sturgeon.

Locations and effective dates: Lake Roosevelt.

From Grand Coulee Dam to China Bend Boat Ramp (including the Spokane River from Highway 25 Bridge upstream to 400’ below Little Falls Dam, Colville River upstream to Meyers Falls and the Kettle River upstream to Barstow Bridge). Open 7 days per week beginning May 27 through Sept. 17, 2017.

From China Bend Boat Ramp upstream to the Canadian Border (white sturgeon spawning sanctuary). Open seven days per week beginning Aug.1 through Sept. 17, 2017.

Fishery Rules:

Daily limit 1 sturgeon. Annual limit 2 sturgeon. It is legal to retain sturgeon between 38 inches and 63 inches fork length. Fork length is measured from the tip of the snout to middle of the fork in the caudal fin (tail). All harvested sturgeon must be recorded on a Catch Record Card (Catch Code 549). Two-pole fishing is allowed. Closed to night fishing. All other statewide rules for white sturgeon must be observed, including the use of barbless hooks.

Anglers are asked to use heavy gear (50 lb test mainline and leader, at minimum) and use 14/0 hooks or smaller (approximately 2 inches or less from point to shank) to help ensure anglers hook and land sturgeon effectively.  WDFW recommends that any fish that will not be legally retained should not be removed from the water prior to release.

Reason for action:

Fishery managers in Washington state and British Columbia began sturgeon hatchery programs in the early 2000s in response to a decades-long decline in the white sturgeon population in Lake Roosevelt. Survival rates for those hatchery-produced juvenile sturgeon is much higher than was anticipated. As a result, there is a surplus of approximately that are available for harvest from Lake Roosevelt.

Other information:

The Lake Roosevelt co-managers (WDFW, Spokane Tribe and the Colville Confederated Tribes) will all be conducting sturgeon fisheries.  The co-managers have negotiated a catch share agreement that allows each entity a guaranteed portion of the sturgeon harvest. Non-tribal licensed anglers will have the opportunity to harvest up to 10,250 sturgeon over the next 10 years.

Anglers are reminded that fishery dates, times, slot limits, daily limits and annual limits may be adjusted over the next decade to ensure a sustainable population of sturgeon is maintained in Lake Roosevelt and that equitable access to the negotiated catch share amongst the three co-managers is achieved.

Information Contact:

For more information, contact Chris Donley, WDFW Region 1 Fish Program Manager, (509) 892 1001 ext. 307, or Bill Baker, WDFW District 1 Fisheries Biologist, (509) 684-2362 ext. 23.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license. Check the current WDFW “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet or the Fishing section of the WDFW webpage at  for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing regulations are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500; press 2 for recreational rules; call the Shellfish Rule Change hotline, (360) 796-3215, or toll free 1 (866) 880-5431.



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