Sturgeon are the largest fresh water fish in North America. Sturgeon are prehistoric looking fish, with spiny ridged backs and a long mouth that would give even the stoutest of people nightmares. Sturgeon are found in lakes and rivers as diverse and spread out as Lake Champlain in Vermont to the Snake River in Idaho. Each state and region regulates their sturgeon fisheries differently.
California requires you to have a "Sturgeon Fishing Report Card," and limits seasonal bag limit to three white sturgeon. According to the new rules, anglers must have a Sturgeon Fishing Report Card and tags. These are free. These rules apply to all anglers including those under 16 years of age, or those who wouldn't need a fishing license (natives or those fishing from docks and piers in certain parts of the state.) California uses the Sturgeon Fishing Report Card to monitor the health and strength of the sturgeon fisheries within the state. Any sturgeon being kept must be tagged according to the instructions on the report card to be legal. Anglers may only keep sturgeon that are between 46 and 66 inches in length. The white sturgeon season is open year round in California unless otherwise posted.
Vermont and Lake Champlain (NYS)
Vermont and New York State share Lake Champlain. Lake Champlain has a population of lake sturgeon listed as endangered species. In 1995 a group of representatives from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Vermont began a study of restocking the lake with sturgeon, according to reports from the Lake Champlain Harbor Watch website. Currently, any sturgeon caught in Lake Champlain must be released.
Snake River and Kootenai River- Idaho
The sturgeon populations in the Snake and Kootenai's Idaho sections are governed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Fishing for white sturgeon is allowed with catch-and-release methods. Barbless hooks are the only hooks allowed for sturgeon fishing in the state. Idaho Fish and Game requests any sturgeon caught be released immediately.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.