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"Endangered and threatened fish

It is illegal to fish for, or possess fish that are officially listed by DEC as endangered or threatened:

  • Endangered: silver chub, bluebreast darter, deepwater sculpin, gilt darter, pugnose shiner, round whitefish, shortnose sturgeon, Atlantic sturgeon and spoonhead sculpin.
  • Threatened: eastern sand darter, lake chubsucker, lake sturgeon, northern (longear) sunfish, mooneye, gravel chub, banded sunfish, longhead darter, swamp darter, spotted darter and mud sunfish.

Any unintentionally caught threatened or endangered fish species must be unhooked and released immediately. They may not be handled for any purpose other than removing the hook and placing them back into the water."

 

Intentionally seeking sturgeon is bad for the fish and a violation of the law.

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Is fishing sturgeon legal in Canadian water on SLR?

 How does one legally fish for sturgeon? Looks awesome!

 

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

 

 

 

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The St Lawrence is zone 20, and there is no open season for sturgeon.   It is also illegal to target closed season fish in Canada, C+R or not.   The sturgeon restoration project is not inexpensive, and the last thing it needs is low lifes masquerading as sportsmen potentially injuring these fish for their personal gratification and "bucket lists."  

 

From the LOU policy for the site:

Lake Ontario United (LOU) is a socially responsible community who strongly supports the efforts of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the common goal of eliminating the illegal snagging of trout & salmon and promotion of ethical sport fishing techniques.

Snatching/Snagging means taking fish that have not taken or attempted to take bait or artificial lure into their mouth, by impaling the fish with one or more hooks or similar devices, whether or not baited, into any part of their body. Snatching is indicated by repeated or exaggerated jerking motions of the fishing rod. Snagging, lifting, and single hook snagging are types of snagging.

To help do our environmental duty and keep our precious tributaries clean of illegal activity, we ask all LOU members to report any environmental violation witnessed. To do this, please call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332) or email [email protected] with the subject title "Report an environmental violation". The DEC will always keep your identity safe and confidential.

DEC Regional Office Directory:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/558.html

NYS_DEC_logo.gif

A special thank you to all LOU members who aid in the prevention of illegal activity each and every day of the year. It is the combined efforts of individuals like yourself and the DEC that can really make a difference.

 

 

I think the owner and sponsors of this site would agree that targeting endangered and threatened species rates the same consideration and reponde as snagging illegally.  For one thing, sturgeon don't die after spawning, take 10+ years for the males and a lot longer than the females to reach spawning size and can live for more than 50 years.  LEAVE THE STURGEON ALONE!

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19 minutes ago, jk1 said:

Half those endangered fish I do not know.....jk

Most of those species, you would not normally encounter, they are small minnow type fish that are not sought after. 

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I always abide by the law wherever I fish and practice catch and release but do enjoy the occasional harvest. Never sturgeon, this was my first time catching Sturgeon.  

 

On the Canadian side in the province of Quebec, not Ontario - fishing for Sturgeon is legal and there is a 1 posession limit in a specific slot size.  

 

The guide we went with was super knowledgable about the fishery and will not take anyone if you plan on harvesting. 

 

I sense there may be a chance is the commercial fisheries soon, and a potential Catch and release only for recreational anglers.  

 

Sturgeon are incredible. Acrobatic, bulldogging and long runs.   It's a shame the fish was considered a nuisance.   I read years back, they use to harvest sturgeon by the thousands in the Detroit river and use the fish as fuel for the boats because of their oily flesh.  Crazy!!

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How does one legally fish for sturgeon? Looks awesome!

 

There is NO STURGEON FISHERY IN NYS OR ONTARIO WATERS OF THE GL.

 

There are some west coast states where you can legally target sturgeon.

 

From DEC:

"

DEC Advises Anglers to be on the Lookout for Lake Sturgeon in the Great Lakes and Oneida Lake

Anglers should be aware of spawning lake sturgeon in tributaries of the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, Finger Lakes and Oneida Lake, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today advised.

"The return of lake sturgeon to spawn in New York state's tributaries reflects well on efforts by DEC and our partners to restore this valuable native species," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "These fish have been part of New York's natural landscape for thousands of years and through sound management they will remain here for future generations to enjoy. It's extremely important that anglers fishing these waters are aware of the presence of spawning sturgeon and take all measures to avoid catching them."

Last season, DEC staff received numerous reports of lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) caught by anglers around the state. Lake sturgeon are listed as a threatened species in New York; therefore, there is no open season for the fish and possession is prohibited. Anglers who unintentionally hook one should follow these practices to ensure the fish is returned to the water unharmed:

  • Avoid bringing the fish into the boat if possible.
  • Use pliers to remove the hook; sturgeon are almost always hooked in the mouth.
  • Always support the fish horizontally. Do not hold sturgeon in a vertical position by their head, gills or tails, even for taking pictures.
  • Never touch their eyes or gills.
  • Minimize their time out of the water.

Anglers are much more likely to encounter sturgeon in May and June when the fish gather to spawn on clean gravel, cobble shoals and in stream rapids.

Lake sturgeon populations are recovering as a result of protection and stocking efforts by DEC and partners. Since 1994, lake sturgeon have been periodically stocked by DEC into Black Lake, Cayuga Lake, the Genesee River, Oneida Lake, the Oswegatchie River, Raquette River, St. Lawrence River, and St. Regis River. Lake sturgeon are often tagged as part of ongoing studies conducted by state or federal agencies and their partners. If a tagged sturgeon is found, it's important to follow the reporting instructions on the tag or contact a regional DEC office for assistance.

Lake sturgeon are an ancient fish that first appeared during the Upper Cretaceous period 136 million years ago when dinosaurs still walked the earth. Lake sturgeon are one of three species of sturgeon native to New York, the others being shortnose sturgeon and Atlantic sturgeon. Lake sturgeon are native to the Mississippi River Basin, Great Lakes Basin and Hudson Bay region of North America. They are the largest fish native to the Great Lakes, growing up to seven or more feet in length and weighing up to 300 pounds. Male sturgeon live as long as 55 years and females live as long as 80 to 150 years.

Lake sturgeon were once abundant in New York, but commercial fishing, dam building and habitat loss decimated populations. Today they can still be found in Lake Erie, Niagara River, Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River, Genesee River, Grasse River, Oswegatchie River, Black Lake, Lake Champlain, Cayuga Lake, Oneida Lake, Oneida River, Seneca River, Oswego River and Cayuga Canal.

For further information on lake sturgeon in New York and other threatened or endangered fish can be found on the DEC website:

Lake Sturgeon Fact Sheet

Endangered & Threatened Fishes of New York

Lake Sturgeon Restoration

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Province of Quebec.  Some miles up river from Lake Ontario on the SLR.  We drove from the Toronto area 5 hours to fish for them legally.  We see them here on some of our bigger rivers during the spawn. They're untouchable but just an amazing sight to see in Ontario.  Figured a 5 hr drive for a chance to hook into a beauty was a small price to pay.  

 

 

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34 minutes ago, Fishingframes said:

I always abide by the law wherever I fish and practice catch and release but do enjoy the occasional harvest. Never sturgeon, this was my first time catching Sturgeon.  

 

On the Canadian side in the province of Quebec, not Ontario - fishing for Sturgeon is legal and there is a 1 posession limit in a specific slot size.  

 

The guide we went with was super knowledgable about the fishery and will not take anyone if you plan on harvesting. 

 

I sense there may be a chance is the commercial fisheries soon, and a potential Catch and release only for recreational anglers.  

 

Sturgeon are incredible. Acrobatic, bulldogging and long runs.   It's a shame the fish was considered a nuisance.   I read years back, they use to harvest sturgeon by the thousands in the Detroit river and use the fish as fuel for the boats because of their oily flesh.  Crazy!!

I apologize for the rant and disparagement of your sportsmanship.

 

It would have been helpful to know you were in the tidal portion of the river, below Lake St Francis.  I erroneously assumed you were above the dams because the forum deals with Lake Ontario.  The area in question contains both Lake and Atlantic Sturgeon, and one may be kept if it is between 80 cm (32") and 130 cm (52").  But just posting a picture without the full locational information could bring on a stampede of people into the NYS or Ontario waters looking for these big fish, where they are still threatened and efforts are still underway at restoration.  They were wiped out in the Genesee River by overharvest, and they used them for fuel on the boats that travelled across the lake to Coburg, Ontario.  There is a fairly successful resotoration project there, but we are always having to remind people to leave them alone.

 

 

DSC00099.JPG

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Congrats on the fish of a lifetime!! Sorry your post was derailed a bit. Some guys like to shoot first and ask questions later.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Yea up in Quebec on the Ridue River guys used to come from Jersey with deep sea equipment while we were fish for eyes, they caught some dinosaurs. Nice catch!!

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I saw a dead five footer washed up on shore near Chippewa Bay once, it was a full foot wide.  

Scuba diving on the Daryaw near Oak Point we've seen two smaller ones.   They have that little blue tinge that carp do when underwater, but aren't aren't  skittish as carp. 

Pretty incredible to think they survived the asteroid 65 million years ago, and have been around for twice that long.   Survival machines. 

    They oughta radio tag some of the ones they catch with rod n reel and make sure the fight isn't killing them.   

 

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pretty cool!

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I saw a dead five footer washed up on shore near Chippewa Bay once, it was a full foot wide.  
Scuba diving on the Daryaw near Oak Point we've seen two smaller ones.   They have that little blue tinge that carp do when underwater, but aren't aren't  skittish as carp. 
Pretty incredible to think they survived the asteroid 65 million years ago, and have been around for twice that long.   Survival machines. 
    They oughta radio tag some of the ones they catch with rod n reel and make sure the fight isn't killing them.   
 


It’s crazy to think that we/they used to collect them and use them as fuel for the steam ships along the Detroit river.

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It is a cool story and totally legal under the circumstances.  Congratulations on the bucket list.  For those of us who reside up and around the SLR it is very common to have encounters.  Its social media that puts anglers at risk.  The DEC can follow up and prosecute if deemed in violation.  As responsible stewards following the guidelines and protecting the species is the primary focus.  With the many encounters along the SLR in the Ogdensburg area and downriver people just don't expose the stories.  You wouldn't think they were endangered.  Anyway great video and maybe in the next generation catch and release wont be so frowned upon and critiqued. 

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Posted (edited)

DE will not hassle an angler who catches a sturgeon incidental to attempting to catch some other species of fish and immediately releases it without unnecessary injury, which could be caused by removing it from the water for a photograph.  While they are big and look armor plated, they are nevertheless fragile.  They are also very easy to catch, they are big dumb bottom feeders that vacuum up everything in their path.  But the numbers are very limited, even in the St Lawrence ,and classed as threatened, and NYS Rules say no to targeting threatened species.  Certainly,  holding one up at 90° to its normal orientation with a big handle thing stuck through the gills cant do the fish any good, even if it is released after it gets heavily stressed out from fighting.  Catch and Release is not frowned upon by this generation, except when it is poorly done and the fish are already very rare (and NYSDEC has pretty good research on numbers as they monitor spawning locations and known return sites, and what egg harvest is done is done in the St. Lawrence and the Niagara.), and the sturgeon are still very rare. 

Edited by Lucky13
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DE will not hassle an angler who catches a sturgeon incidental to attempting to catch some other species of fish and immediately releases it without unnecessary injury, which could be caused by removing it from the water for a photograph.  While they are big and look armor plated, they are nevertheless fragile.  They are also very easy to catch, they are big dumb bottom feeders that vacuum up everything in their path.  But the numbers are very limited, even in the St Lawrence ,and classed as threatened, and NYS Rules say no to targeting threatened species.  Certainly,  holding one up at 90° to its normal orientation with a big handle thing stuck through the gills cant do the fish any good, even if it is released after it gets heavily stressed out from fighting.  Catch and Release is not frowned upon by this generation, except when it is poorly done and the fish are already very rare (and NYSDEC has pretty good research on numbers as they monitor spawning locations and known return sites, and what egg harvest is done is done in the St. Lawrence and the Niagara.), and the sturgeon are still very rare. 

Here In the province of Ontario (southern ON), also can not fish for them. Immediate release in the regs states as an example, taking a photo of the fish is also a fine as it does not construe “immediate release”

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It is not legal to target sturgeon in NY, but they are often caught incidental to other fishing especially catfishing with bait on bottom, so fishing is a problem in the Genesee River where a lot of the local fisherman are seeking catfish, drum, or walleyes that will pick up their nightcrawlers, as will the sturgeon.  Technically, you get a ticket here for the picture as well, but I don't think a lot of warden's will write for that.

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