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Contact: Denise Bausch, 509-754-7830
On May 27, 2017 fishing for White Sturgeon at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area was opened for the first time in years. 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 these hatchery-produced juvenile sturgeon is much higher than anticipated. As a result, there is a surplus of these fish available for harvest from Lake Roosevelt
Even though the sturgeon skeleton is made primarily of cartilage, the boney plates (scutes) along their back are thicker and harder than other fish species. Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area’s fish cleaning stations were not designed to handle the skeletal mass and scutes of the White Sturgeon. Our fish cleaning stations, located at Spring Canyon, Keller Ferry, Fort Spokane, Porcupine Bay, Hunters, Gifford Ferry, and Kettle Falls, are better suited for the softer bones of other fish species such as trout, kokanee, bass, and walleye.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recommends either cleaning and disposing of the remains at home or cleaning and disposing of the remains in deep water. If you plan on deep water disposal of fish remains, WDFW recommends disposing of them in at least 25 feet of water and away from developed areas such as boat launches and campgrounds. Do not dispose of any remains in shallow water or along the shoreline because this creates unsanitary and unsafe conditions for visitors and wildlife.
For more information on fishing for White Sturgeon at Lake Roosevelt, please visit WDFW at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=1975.