For nine thousand years, fisheries in Lake Roosevelt and its tributaries were subsistence and cultural focal points for the upper Columbia tribes.

An estimated 650,000 salmon and steelhead a year were harvested. Although these salmon runs were lost with the building of Grand Coulee Dam, restoring and protecting a robust native fishery is as important as ever.

Today, there are 32 species of native and nonnative fish in Lake Roosevelt.

Native species of highest interest to fishery managers are redband trout, kokanee and white sturgeon. These species provide the genetic and cultural links to the Upper Columbia River's nine thousand year history.

Restoring the native fishery has specific challenges. Non-native predators like walleye and smallmouth bass are greatly valued by many anglers, but their high abundance and large appetites negatively impact native fish.

Also, the number of white sturgeon has declined to dangerously low levels, leading to a ban on sturgeon fishing in Lake Roosevelt and the free flowing Columbia River above the lake. Currently, we are partnering with agencies and stakeholders in Canada on a white sturgeon recovery program.