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2022-2024 News Releases

Fish and Game Commission Approves White Sturgeon as a Candidate Species for Listing as Threatened
  • June 28, 2024
A close-up photograph of a white sturgeon held aboard a boat.

The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) approved white sturgeon as a candidate species for listing under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) on June 19. The Commission found sufficient scientific evidence in a petition to determine that listing may be warranted.

Notice of the Commission decision is expected to be published by the Office of Administrative Law on July 12. At that point, fishing for white sturgeon will close as candidate species for listing under CESA are granted full protections while the candidate review process takes place.

However, recreational fishing for white sturgeon remains open until July 11 under emergency regulations adopted last year.  

Also, the Commission recognized the significant recreational and economic impact a fishing closure will have and requested the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to explore options to allow recreational fishing for white sturgeon to continue during the status review process, which may be permitted under California Fish and Game Code Section 2084. 

CDFW will bring potential white sturgeon fishing regulations under Fish and Game Code Section 2084 to the Commission at its Aug. 14-15 meeting in Fortuna, Humboldt County. Fish and Game Code Section 2084 allows the Commission to authorize take by hook and line for any sport fish that is listed as an endangered, threatened or candidate species under provisions that ensure protection of the species under CESA.

The Commission’s action initiated CDFW’s comprehensive status review of the species to determine if listing under CESA is warranted. A final decision could be made by the Commission as early as late 2025.

CDFW recommends anglers with 2024 Sturgeon Fishing Report Cards hold onto their cards and anglers considering purchasing a nonrefundable 2024 Sturgeon Fishing Report Card wait until the Commission decides on any Section 2084 regulations that could allow white sturgeon fishing to resume.  


Media Contacts: 
Jay Rowan, CDFW Fisheries Branch Chief, (916) 212-3164 
Peter Tira, CDFW Communications, (916) 215-3858 

Categories: FGC, Fisheries, Fishing, Marine

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