Our Northwest

Monster sturgeon small by river standards

Friday, August 9, 2013by  Jon Osterberg

A giant, dead sturgeon found belly-up in Lake Washington sparked lots of attention last week. But the 8-foot monster ranks below an 11-footer found there in 1987 that weighed 640 pounds.
   It’s difficult to determine the biggest Northwest sturgeon ever caught, because those longer than 60 inches (54 in Oregon) must be released. However, sturgeon known to approach 20 feet long regularly prowl the riverbeds of the Columbia, Snake, and Willamette.
   The official gamefish record shows the largest chinook salmon ever caught in Washington was a 70-pounder reeled in at Sekiu in 1964, while a 288-pound halibut was caught off Swiftsure Bank in 1989. Oregon’s master lunker was an 83-pound chinook salmon caught in 1910 on the Umpqua River, which gave up a 64-pound striped bass in 1973 as well.
   Also making news this week was a big, prehistoric-looking northern snakehead caught in Virginia.
   Kind of makes you want to stick with plain old trout fishing, doesn’t it?
   And don't feel left out, Idaho friends. Your state records include a 57-pound lake trout caught at Priest Lake in 1971.

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