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Pigashalaka

sturgeon

22 posts in this topic

Hello, I am new to this particular forum, but have posted plenty around home/international falls area. I am looking for information of sturgeon on the St. Croix River. I am a very avid sturgeon angler, but my angling has been limited to the Rainy River and border waters. If I am correct, the season is closed to sturgeon on the St. Croix in Minnesota? Can you fish for them on the Wisconsin Side? From what I can gather, there is only a short season in the fall. Has anyone targeted sturgeon on the river? Success rates? Any information on sturgeon in your area would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!

Pig

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I'm not 100% sure but I believe you can keep a sturgeon on the minnesota side, but only upstream of taylors falls. And the season is like 2 or 3 weeks long in september. The DNR closed fishing to sturgeon on the tributaries of the upper croix about 10 or 12 years ago. But unless they changed the regs this year I'm pretty sure you can keep 1 on the croix itself. And I think it's a 50 inch minimum size limit. I'm not 100% sure on all of that so if anyone knows the regs, please correct me.

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I'm pretty sure that it is Taylors falls and south to Prescott. One fish 50" min with a tag required and season runs from Sept. first to Oct. 15th.

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Sturgeon season is only open from sept. 1-oct. 15 on the st croix with a tag. But every year me and a couple of buddies go out there and we do catch some, though the size is not so big but there is plenty that averages between 24-48in. biting on crawlers.

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Wow, thanks for the info! I might look to try that area this fall sometime for sturgeon. I assume the best spot is probably near the Taylor Falls Dam? Rainy River seems to be a better fishery for them. On good days, we usually boat 10 each, ranging in size from mid 30's to middle 40 inches. Last spring, we got two over 50 and lost one that was pushing 60 or so. I'd be happy to share any info on spots in anyone is intrested. Has anyone ever caught any keepers over 50 inches? They are excellent table fare! Thanks again. Rainy river season is open end of april to early may for keeping them.

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Taylors falls downstream to prescott sounds more like it since you mention that. Obviously the DNR closed the season on the upper croix the same time they closed the tributaries to fishing. The last sturgeon I caught was in the marine on st. croix area and it was a whopping 13 inches!!! But I have seen some around the legal limit caught just downstream of taylors falls.

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I know of a few caught around the copus and osceola landing areas, a couple over 40 inches. I've never targeted them but buddies have stumbled into them by accident... a nice surprise.

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Smoke the Sturgeon - OMG are they good smoked...

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Thanks guys for the info. Can anyone tell me about the depth of water by the Taylor Falls dam? Is there deep holes? What is the dam like? Best luck I have had below dams for sturgeon is on the leading edge of a deep hole, just off the edge of the main current. They seem to like the slack water, where they can rest, but also see goodies come through the current, right next to the main current. The spot we fish for them on Rainy River is about 60 feet deep. Nothing beats a sturgeon pound for pound when you bring them up from there in current.

As for table fare, smoking them is okay, they are also excellent just chunked up and fried or grilled like salmon. Tons of recipies from Oregon, when they catch them on the Columbia river on web too.

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You won't get near the dam on the Croix. Just below the HWY 8 bridge is a very nasty rapids and there is no launch above it. I know the Mn DNR has looked at trying to get up there to do fish surveys and the only way they have found is to be lowered on a crane by NSP from the dam. You might be able to walk in somewhere and shore fish but a boat is out from what I've seen.

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Yeah, those rapids are nasty. I have contemplated many times running my boat full throttle up it, but it's probably a good thing I never did. Even if I did make it up getting back down would be even harder. Below those rapids along the cliffs the river is between 40 and 70 ft deep. I've only caught small catfish there, but I'm sure there's all kinds of stuff down there.

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Lots and lots of logs below those rapids from what I hear.

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I've never seen any logs, but I'm sure there's a few there. There's probably all kinds of stuff sitting on the bottom in that deep water, although I don't ever remember getting any snags at all. I think the rapids are there from dynamiting the cliffs when they built the bridge there. That's my theory anyway, maybe they've always been there for as long as the river has...if anyone knows for sure, please fill me in.

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don't listen to any of these guys... there aren't any sturgeon in the Croix... grin.gif

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Quote:

don't listen to any of these guys... there aren't any sturgeon in the Croix...
grin.gif


Yah, just monster's, prehistoric fishes or something. Sometimes I catch something, and it takes off down stream, unspools the entire line off my reel and snaps.

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what was it then? it was 48 inches and it looked like it was from the dinosaur days

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Must've been a figment of your imagination grin.gif

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Quote:

Hello, I am new to this particular forum, but have posted plenty around home/international falls area. I am looking for information of sturgeon on the St. Croix River. I am a very avid sturgeon angler, but my angling has been limited to the Rainy River and border waters. If I am correct, the season is closed to sturgeon on the St. Croix in Minnesota? Can you fish for them on the Wisconsin Side? From what I can gather, there is only a short season in the fall. Has anyone targeted sturgeon on the river? Success rates? Any information on sturgeon in your area would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!

Pig


Sturgeons are very easy to catch on the St Croix from my personal experience. I dont target them, I target other fish, but they seem to bite a lot right before dark.. However, catching a legal size one is quite difficult.. Ive never caught one by accident while fishing for other species that would be of legal length..

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Wow, thanks for the information. By what I can gather, it would make the most sense to fish in the deep water below those nasty rapids for the stugeon. Try to find some sort of "hole" in that area or better yet, some slack water. I will be there sometime this fall, once the season opens up. I am suprised they dont offer a catch and release time for those piggies. Rainy River this weekend, the bite is on for walleyes!!!!!

Pig

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Smoked sturgeon are almost as good as smoked salmon, sometimes even better. i have had them many times. i wish the size regulation in the open season wasn't 50 inches, there are ALOT in the 40's but 50 is hard to come by. I think the Croix is VERY healthy and taking out a few fish would not hurt it. grin.gif

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I've pretty much given up on trying to catch a sturgeon of legal size. The size restrictions is because it takes a while before a sturgeon matures into an reproducing adult. I don't know at what size or age it is, but that number 7 is scratching behind my head.

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i believe a legal sturgeon would be over 25 years old. i have only landed a handful over 50 inches, I have had countless in the 40's. i don't know if the growth rate slows at that age of if the St.Croix population is just a young population. My largest is 66 inches.

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