Anglers smash Idaho sturgeon record with rare catch at Snake River reservoir near Boise

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A Utah couple landed a sturgeon last week that handily broke the Idaho state record by several inches, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said in a Friday news release.

Greg and Angie Poulsen, of Eagle Mountain, Utah, were fishing at C.J. Strike Reservoir on Aug. 5 when they hooked a white sturgeon. The reservoir, about an hour’s drive south of Boise, extends to the Snake and Bruneau rivers. The massive prehistoric sturgeon are known to inhabit the Snake River, though Fish and Game said the largest specimens are typically found in Hells Canyon.

The Poulsens’ sturgeon measured in at 124 inches — or just under 10 feet, 4 inches. The previous record, set in 2019, was 119.5 inches, just a few inches shy of the 10-foot mark.

Greg and Angie Poulsen (left, middle) and Wendy Guess (right) of Eagle Mountain, Utah, hold a 124-inch white sturgeon from C.J. Strike Reservoir, clinching the current catch-and-release state record.
Greg and Angie Poulsen (left, middle) and Wendy Guess (right) of Eagle Mountain, Utah, hold a 124-inch white sturgeon from C.J. Strike Reservoir, clinching the current catch-and-release state record.

Sturgeon fishing in Idaho is catch-and-release only, and it’s illegal to remove the fish from the water as their skeletons are made almost entirely of cartilage and the animals can be easily injured.

Fish and Game officials said just 10 sturgeon longer than 10 feet have been documented in Idaho in the last several decades. The largest specimen was a 131.5-inch sturgeon caught in 1993 by Idaho Power biologists.

White sturgeon are a slow-growing fish that don’t reach sexual maturity until about 10 to 15 years in the Strike Reservoir area. They can live to be around 100 years old.

C.J. Strike produced another record fish recently — a 42.5-inch long catfish with a girth of 32 inches that was caught and released late last month.