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12 - Priest Rapids Reservoir Report



76° - 80°
Bottom Fishing From Boat
Hook & Bait
61° - 65°

My son and I started fishing at daylight above Desert Aire. The wind blew hard early and it rained a little on us and it was hard to fish. We had very few bites and we tried every bait combination we had. Bait of choice seemed to be Rollmop Herring. Late morning my son finally got one to take the bait and he set the hook. Only words I remember hearing was , Oh Oh, this one may be to big to keep. We threw the anchor and chased the fish for over half an hour. It took all of the line off his reel at several points and the reel had some problems so we were sure the fish would be lost. When we finally got the sturgeon to the boat it was too big to fit in our net so we struggled to get it in. When we measured the fish it was 63 inches to the fork and 69 inches to the end of the tail. Trying to get a fish that size in a cooler is quite a task, we had nothing large enough to keep it cool. We did have several black garbage bags so we went to the store and bought six bags of ice and packed it best we could on the floor of the boat and headed for home. The sturgeon weighted 65 pounds and played both of us out.


7/18/2016 11:45:00 AM
Not sure I am reading this right but if I am, make sure you check the regs before even bringing the fish into the boat.

STURGEON Feb. 1-July 31 Min. size 43" fork length. Max. size 54" fork length. Daily limit 1. (area 536)
area 537, catch and release only. (pg 54 Wa. fish regs 2016-2017)
7/18/2016 12:00:00 PM
Nice fish and thank you for the report. Perfectly legal fish as they just opened that stretch of river for sturgeon for retention on fish between 38" and 72" nose to fork.
7/18/2016 5:27:00 PM
Nice Fish. I was over checking out Wanapum and Priest Rapids for any reports on Sturgeon. Is this the first time you weer out and have you heard if anyone else has been doing any good. ? I was thinking of taking three or four days to try it out but I haven't a clue where to go there. I'm used to fishing the lower Columbia and its tributaries for Sturg, but since they pretty much shut it down for keepers I haven't been out. How deep were you fishing? Did you launch at desert aire?
7/18/2016 7:40:00 PM
Hello DaPooh, We have been fishing for the sturgeon 5 trips since it opened and we have caught only two sturgeon. The first one was 53 inches fork length and weighed 40 pounds. The one on Sunday was a big one. We have seen 4 other fish caught in those 5 trips. We are fishing in 40 to 50 feet of water and we launched from Buckshot, just above Desert Aire. The wind has played a major role in our success, when it is capping you can't tell if you are getting a bite or not. Several trips we did not see a bite.
7/18/2016 7:50:00 PM
Here are the emergency reg's

7/18/2016 7:51:00 PM
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife FISHING RULE CHANGE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

June 21, 2016

Sturgeon harvest allowed in Wanapum and Priest Rapids Reservoirs

Action: Allow harvest of sturgeon

Effective Dates: July 1 through Sept. 30, 2016

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: Hatchery-origin white sturgeon residing in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs since the early 2000's are abundant and have grown to a harvestable size. Removal of these hatchery-origin fish is consistent with ongoing actions to rebuild depressed populations of wild-origin White Sturgeon in Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs.

Other information:

Daily limit of two (2) sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length may be harvested from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs only.

No annual harvest limit of sturgeon between 38 and 72 inches fork length from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs only.

Anglers are not required to record sturgeon harvested from Wanapum and Priest Rapids reservoirs on a Catch Record Card.

Catch-and-release fishing is allowed in Wanapum and Priest Rapids 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 fishing for sturgeon is prohibited.

Only one single-point barbless hook and bait is allowed while fishing for sturgeon.

Anglers may fish with two poles with the purchase of a Two-Pole Endorsement license.

In the field, anglers must retain eggs with intact carcass of fish from which they came.

All closed water areas in and around Wanapum, Priest Rapids, and Rock Island dams are still in effect. Check the current sport fishing rules pamphlet for complete details (http: //wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/).

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 or Jeff Korth, Region 2 Fish Program Manager, (509) 754-4624, ext. 224

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

Return to WDFW Home Page Return to WDFW
7/19/2016 5:32:00 AM
Thanks for showing how important it is to keep up with emergency rules. It can benefit you but can also get you in trouble if not monitored prior to fishing.
7/19/2016 5:34:00 PM
Hello Dlantis,
Thanks much for the info. Hope your luck gets better. Understand what the wind can do to a Sturg. Bite. Hard to feel em. Still thinking about the trip. Sure do like those Sturg,, mighty tasty. I'll shoot you a response on this site if I head down. Good Fishin!
7/26/2016 8:37:00 PM
Has anyone you know fished the Wanapum Resevoir? That is also open per the emergency rule change?
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Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Jones Sportfishing

Phone: (208) 861-0654