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Friday, September 20, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

As Lake Roosevelt sturgeon season is planned, tribes already fishing

Bottom-feeding white sturgeon often eat lost fishing tackle. (Associated Press)
Bottom-feeding white sturgeon often eat lost fishing tackle. (Associated Press)

FISHING -- After years of closure, a sport fishery for sturgeon on Lake Roosevelt is scheduled to open this summer. However, area Indian tribes, which make their own rules on the Columbia River reservoir, already are sampling the fishery’s potential.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has been working with the Spokane and Colville tribes to restore the fishery and set up a fishing season structure, said Madonna Luers, department public information officer.

“There are 20,000 sturgeon available for harvest in Lake Roosevelt over the next 10 years,” said Chris Donley, the agency’s Eastern Region fish program manager. “These are surplus fish from Washington and Canadian hatcheries that are not needed in the spawning population.”

WDFW co-manages Lake Roosevelt with the Spokane Tribe and Colville Confederated Tribes, which have reservations adjacent to the big Columbia River reservoir in northeast Washington.

The tribes just opened sturgeon fishing for tribal anglers, but Donley said the state will not open sturgeon fishing for state anglers until catch shares and fishery monitoring are agreed upon with co-managers.

“We expect to open Roosevelt sturgeon fishing no later than the first of July,” Donley said, “so we plan to announce season dates and rules soon.”

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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