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