Sturgeon Fishing is enjoyed locally by avid fisherman as well as the novice looking for an adventure.  Even families with children wanting to spend a day outdoors have enjoyed the thrill of reeling in one of these huge fish. 
The White Sturgeon populate many areas from San Diego to British Colombia.  The Snake River has a stable population of these large fish.  Because they are damn locked on The Snake River, sturgeon are not able to travel to the Pacific Ocean as they once could.  Sturgeon only spawn every five to ten years.  To protect the population of these prehistoric fish everyone who catches one in Idaho is required to keep the fish in the water at all times.  Sturgeon fishing is strictly catch and release only.
It is not uncommon to catch the same fish on return trips identifiable by distinct marks or features of that particular fish.  They are a strong healthy breed that feed and live in the bottom of deep holes on the river floor. 
Just on our boat we have seen fish ranging from twenty inches to nine foot six inches.  Although, we have seen other fishermen catch a fish as big as ten foot four inches long probably weighing 450 pounds.  According to Idaho Fish and Game fish over seven foot are thirty to fourty years old.

There is nothing like the thrill you get when reeling in one of these prehistoric monsters.  It has never been a simple feat.  Once hooked, you may spend anywhere from ten to sixty minutes fighting to see the fish.  Once you feel the fight is over, the fish is so close to can see ripples on top of the water...hold on!  You may feel that familiar tug all over again.  You may hear your line whistle and watch as it starts to unravel.  Your already sore muscles scream and begin to ache all over again. Each little bit of line you gain this time seems to take more effort.  But once you see that giant fish you'll feel that it was all worth it.  Some have said they look like sharks (women usually say-that's disgusting) but the truth is, you'll never see anything else like it.


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The Sturgeon

As fish go, the Idaho white sturgeon is something of a mystery.  According to Fred Partridge, a Senior Fisheries Research Biologist for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, it is almost impossible to draw hard-and-fast conclusions about the Sturgeon.  Though the fossil record dates back 100 million years to the Cretaceous period, Sturgeon are docile, reclusive fish, choosing the Snake's deepest holes and swiftest water as their homes.


"This prehistoric monster of the deep is fast becoming one of Idaho's most popular game fish."
Sturgeon are bottom-feeders, constantly rubbing against rocks and are therefore extremely resistant to tagging.  Because they are difficult to keep track of, one study will claim Sturgeon migrate, the next will insist they are territorial; one says they spawn in fast water, the next in deep eddies; one says they can live to be fifty years old, the next a century.  No one disputes, however, that Idaho's White Sturgeon can grow to be stupendously big!  A photograph taken in 1898 shows a 1500-pound, 20-foot monster being dragged by a four-mule team onto a bank below Twin Falls.

Due to increasing pressure, concerns have surfaced about the number of sturgeon fishermen and their relative success.  For that reason the Department of Fish and Game created a mandatory permit system in 1989.  This permit records the length of each fish, where it was caught, and the number of hours spent fishing for each.  The permit system is no longer in use but all Sturgeon fishing is catch and release only.

For more information about the White Sturgeon go to:

Idaho Fish and Game-White Sturgeon




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