Photo Courtesy of Paul Ambrose of Great NW River Guide Service
WDFW Fishing Rule Change
Action: Increase the daily limit to two (2) sturgeon, and remove the annual limit and the requirement to record caught sturgeon on a catch-record-card.
Effective Dates: One hour before official sunrise on May 27 through one hour after official sunset on Sept. 17, 2017.
Species affected: White sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length.
Location: Priest Rapids Reservoir (from Priest Rapids Dam to Wanapum Dam) and Wanapum Reservoir (from Wanapum Dam to Rock Island Dam).
Reason for action: Re-evaluation of sturgeon harvest rules in the original Fishing Rule Change were deemed inconsistent with management objectives in Priest Rapids and Wanapum reservoirs. Revising the sturgeon harvest rules is necessary to maximize harvest of hatchery-origin sturgeon. Provided below are the rules anglers must follow while fishing in Priest Rapids and Wanapum reservoirs.
- Daily limit of two (2) sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length may be harvested from Priest Rapids and Wanapum reservoirs only.
- No annual harvest limit of sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length from Priest Rapids and Wanapum reservoirs only.
- Anglers are not required to record sturgeon harvested from Priest Rapids and Wanapum reservoirs on a Catch Record Card.
- Catch-and-release fishing is allowed in Priest Rapids and Wanapum reservoirs after the daily limit is harvested.
- Any sturgeon not to be harvested must be released immediately. Oversized sturgeon cannot be removed totally or in part from the water.
- Night closure is in effect for sturgeon. Official sunrise and sunset times can be found at: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/
- Only one single-point barbless hook and bait is allowed while fishing for sturgeon.
- Anglers may fish for sturgeon with two poles with the purchase of a Two-Pole Endorsement license.
- In the field, eggs must be retained with intact carcass of fish from which they came.
- All closed water areas in and around Priest Rapids, Wanapum, and Rock Island dams are still in effect. Check the current sport fishing rules pamphlet for complete details (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/
- Daily and annual limits, harvestable slot length limits, Catch Record Card recording requirements, and all other sport fishing rules governing sturgeon harvest in all other legally open fisheries still apply.
Information Contact: Chad Jackson, District Fish Biologist, (509) 754-4624, ext. 250.