Lake Roosevelt white sturgeon fishery to open Sept. 1 upstream of China Bend boat ramp

Action: Open additional harvest opportunity for white sturgeon in Lake Roosevelt.

Species affected: White sturgeon

Locations and effective dates:

1)  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). Remains open seven days per week through Sept. 30, 2019.

2)  Lake Roosevelt, from China Bend Boat Ramp upstream to the Canadian Border. Open seven days per week from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, 2019. 

Reason for action: The portion of Lake Roosevelt from China Bend upstream to the Canadian border is managed as a spawning sanctuary for white sturgeon. Spawning is expected to continue into August. In order to reduce the potential for impacts to wild adult sturgeon spawners, the opening of that portion of the reservoir to sturgeon fishing will be Sept. 1.

Sturgeon fishery rules: Daily limit 1 sturgeon.  Annual limit 2 sturgeon.  It is legal to retain sturgeon between 53 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). Closed to night fishing. Two-pole fishing is allowed with a two-pole endorsement. Harvested sturgeon must be recorded on a Catch Record Card (Catch Code 549). Anglers may continue to catch and release sturgeon after the daily limit and annual limit have been taken. All other statewide rules for sturgeon must be observed.

Anglers are asked to use heavy gear (minimum 50lb test mainline and leader) with 14/0 hooks or smaller to avoid injuring large, wild adult sturgeon. This will ensure anglers hook and land sturgeon effectively, but also protects large, wild adult brood sturgeon, that if hooked, should be played to hand quickly.  It is unlawful to remove oversized sturgeon from the water. WDFW recommends that any fish that will not be retained should not be removed from the water prior to release.

Additional information:  The Lake Roosevelt co-managers (WDFW, Spokane Tribe and the Colville Confederated Tribes) will all be conducting sturgeon fisheries at this time. Anglers are asked to be respectful of tribal angling and both tribal and non-tribal sturgeon research that is occurring on the reservoir.  Anglers are reminded that fishery dates, times, slot limits, daily limits and annual limits may be adjusted over time to ensure a sustainable population of sturgeon is maintained in Lake Roosevelt and that equitable access to the fishery amongst the three co-managers is achieved.

Information contact: For more information, contact Chris Donley, WDFW Region 1 Fish Program Manager: (509) 892 1001 x 307; or Bill Baker, WDFW District 1 Fisheries Biologist: (509) 563-5499.