Logo

Sturgeon Regulations

Fishing Regulations California Freshwater Fishing

Sturgeon Tagging Requirement

Sturgeon anglers are required to legibly and permanently write the date, time, location, and length, on each sturgeon tag immediately after retaining a sturgeon. Anglers shall also physically punch out the date and month printed on each tag immediately after retaining a sturgeon. Any sturgeon retained must be tagged. (CCR, T-14, sections 5.79 and 27.92)

Size limit

Only white sturgeon between 40 and 60 inches fork length may be retained. The fish must be measured from the nose to the tail fork. (CCR, T-14, sections 5.80 and 27.90)

Bag and possession limit

The bag limit for white sturgeon is one fish per day, three fish per year, statewide. The possession limit is one fish. (CCR, T-14, sections 5.80 and 27.90)

Methods of take

Only one single barbless hook may be used on a line when taking sturgeon. Use of a snare to take any sturgeon is prohibited. A snare is a flexible loop made from any material that can be tightened like a noose around any part of the fish. (CCR, T-14, sections 5.80 and 27.90)

Removal from water

Any white sturgeon greater than 68 inches fork length may not be removed from the water and shall be released immediately. (CCR, T-14, sections 5.80 and 27.90)

Green sturgeon may not be removed from the water and shall be released immediately. (CCR, T-14, sections 5.81 and 27.91)

Special Yolo Bypass Flood Control System Sturgeon Closure

It is unlawful to take any sturgeon in the Yolo Bypass, Toe Drain Canal, and Tule Canal upstream of Lisbon Weir at any time.

5.79. White Sturgeon Report Card and Tagging Requirements for Inland Waters.

(a) Sturgeon Fishing Report Card Required. All anglers must have a valid Sturgeon Fishing Report Card in their possession while fishing for or taking white sturgeon. Cardholders must complete and return the card pursuant to regulations in this Section and in Section 1.74.

(b) Tagging and Recording Requirements for Retained Fish. A Sturgeon Fishing Report Card includes detachable tags that shall be used to tag any white sturgeon that is taken and retained in the sport fishery. Any white sturgeon possessed by any person shall be tagged.

(1) Upon taking and retaining a white sturgeon, the cardholder shall immediately record the following information:

(A) The fishing location, time of catch and length of the fish shall be recorded legibly and permanently in the appropriate spaces on the tag. The cardholder shall immediately and completely punch out the date of catch (month and day) on the sturgeon tag. Tags shall be used in sequential order.

(B) The month, day, fishing location and length of the fish shall be recorded in the appropriate spaces on the Sturgeon Fishing Report Card which corresponds to the number on the tag.

(2) Immediately after recording the information above, the cardholder shall remove and completely detach the tag from the card and affix it to the white sturgeon. Cardholders shall not wait until completion of fishing activity to tag any white sturgeon in possession.

(3) The tag shall be securely fastened to the fish. To affix the tag, a “zip tie”, string, line or other suitable material shall be passed through the tag at the location specified on the sturgeon tag and attached to the fish.

(4) Tags shall not be removed from the report card until immediately prior to affixing to a white sturgeon. Any tags detached from the report card and not affixed to a white sturgeon shall be considered used and therefore invalid. No person shall possess any used or otherwise invalid sturgeon tags.

(5) Records of Prior Activity. All tags must be accounted for at all times by entry of a record on the Sturgeon Fishing Report Card corresponding to all tags that are not in possession. Any tag that was lost or destroyed shall be recorded as such on the corresponding line on the Sturgeon Fishing Report Card.

(6) If the sturgeon has a department reward disk attached, write the reward disk number in the space provided on the report card.

(c) Reporting Requirements for Released Fish.

(1) Whenever the cardholder catches and releases a sturgeon, the cardholder shall immediately record the month, day, location code, and species of sturgeon.

(2) If all lines in the “sturgeon released” field of the report card are filled, any additional sturgeon caught and released need not be recorded on the card.

(3) If the sturgeon has a department reward disk attached, write the reward disk number in the space provided on the report card.

(d) Sturgeon tags must be left affixed to the fish in place, including while stored at a residence or non-transient location, until the fish is processed for immediate consumption.

(e) The annual fee for the Sturgeon Fishing Report Card is specified in Section 701, Title 14, CCR.

Sturgeon Fishing Closure Note:

The Sacramento River from the Keswick Dam down to the Hwy 162 Bridge is closed to sturgeon fishing all year. No take or possession of sturgeon is allowed in this closed area. There will be no allowance for any catch and release fishing that targets sturgeon in this closed area of the Sacramento River. As a reminder, Section 1.80 defines take as “Hunt, pursue, catch, capture or kill fish, amphibians, reptiles, mollusks, crustaceans or invertebrates or attempting to do so.”

5.80. White Sturgeon.

(a) Open season: All year, except for closures listed under special regulations.

(b) Daily and annual bag limit: One fish per day. Three fish per year statewide.

(c) Size limit: No fish less than 40 inches fork length or greater than 60 inches fork length may be taken or possessed.

(d) Methods of take: Only one single point, single shank, barbless hook may be used on a line when taking sturgeon. The sturgeon must voluntarily take the bait or lure inside its mouth. No sturgeon may be taken by trolling, snagging or by the use of firearms. Sturgeon may not be gaffed, nor shall any person use any type of firearm or snare to take any sturgeon.

For the purposes of this section, a snare is a flexible loop made from any material that can be tightened like a noose around any part of the fish.

(e) Removal from water: Any sturgeon greater than 68 inches fork length may not be removed from the water and shall be released immediately.

(f) Report card required: Any person fishing for or taking sturgeon shall have in their possession a nontransferable Sturgeon Fishing Report Card issued by CDFW and shall adhere to all reporting and tagging requirements for sturgeon defined in Sections 1.74 and 5.79, Title 14, CCR.

(g) Special North Coast District Sturgeon Closure (Humboldt, Del Norte, Trinity and Siskiyou cos.). It is unlawful to take any sturgeon in the North Coast District at any time.

(h) For regulations on take and possession of sturgeon in ocean waters as defined in Section 27.00, see Sections 27.90, 27.91, and 27.95

(i) Special Sierra and Valley District Sturgeon Closure from January 1 to December 31 (Shasta, Tehama, Butte, and Glenn cos.)

(1) Sacramento River from Keswick Dam to the Highway 162 Bridge.

(A) It is unlawful to take any sturgeon.

(B) It is unlawful to use wire leaders.

(C) It is unlawful to use lamprey or any type of shrimp as bait.

(j) Special Yolo Bypass Flood Control System Sturgeon Closure. It is unlawful to take any sturgeon in the Yolo Bypass, Toe Drain Canal, and Tule Canal upstream of the Lisbon Weir at any time.

5.81. Green Sturgeon.

(a) Green sturgeon may not be taken or possessed.(b) Green sturgeon may not be removed from the water and shall be released immediately.

(c) Green sturgeon taken and released incidentally to white sturgeon fishing shall be reported on a Sturgeon Fishing Report Card issued by the department, in accordance with procedures defined in Sections 1.74 and 5.79, Title 14, CCR.