Livermore Man Hooks Hundred-Pounder

A Livermore man caught a sturgeon that weighed over 100 pounds, breaking all records for fish caught at Lake Del Valle.

Here's information provided by the East Bay Regional Parks District:

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA -- A sturgeon caught November 26, 2012 in Livermore has surpassed all records for fish caught at Lake Del Valle since its inception in 1968.

Gary Howard of Livermore landed the sturgeon at Del Valle Regional Recreation Area while fishing with anchovies in the park’s Tarantula Cove. The sturgeon, which was caught and released, was over 6’ long, and weighed over 100 lbs.

According to East Bay Regional Park District Fisheries Program Manager Pete Alexander, it’s not only the biggest recorded sturgeon caught at Del Valle, but by far the largest of all the ten species of sport fish ever caught at the lake. A 25 lb. sturgeon (2006) and a 40 lb striped bass (1989) previously held those records, respectively.

Although Del Valle hosts a diverse fishery – according to Alexander the most diverse of any Bay Area lake or reservoir – it’s not exactly renowned for sturgeon. Alexander estimates only a few sturgeon lurk in the lake. The fish caught on Monday could have been pumped in from the Delta as a small fish, or it could be one of three sturgeon obtained by thePark District in January of 2003 from the San Francisco Sport and Boat Showfish exhibit. Those fish measured approximately 30” each at the time they were planted in Del Valle.

According to state regulations, sturgeon must be between 44” and 66” total length, to be kept. This slot limit is designed to keep large breeding adults in the population. Sturgeon that are either smaller or larger, must be released.
Anglers at Del Valle target ten kinds of sport fish including rainbow trout, salmon, bluegill, channel catfish, redear sunfish, black crappie, sturgeon, striped bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass. The District plants trout and catfish at the lake, largelyfunded by the District’s Fishing Access Permit program. The California Department of Fish & Game also plants trout, as well as inland Chinook salmon, and Kokanee fingerlings.

The East Bay Regional Park District offers 11 lakes and reservoirs and over 25 miles of Bay/Delta shoreline and piers for fishing in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The fish planting schedule, fishing reports, and permit information are available online at www.ebparks.org/anglersedge.

James A. Thomas III November 28, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Don't care about Del Valle sturgeon...can someone help me figure out how to catch those well under 100-pound Del Valle crappie?
TrueRealist November 29, 2012 at 12:12 AM
Small spinners and jigs fished close to cover and weed lines. They'll suspend in winter and you have to find them as they're a school fish. If you catch one you'll catch more.
Lynne Rogers November 29, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Yaaaaaaaha For this Livermore CA, guy catching such a big Fish < Hooray>
Cherry November 29, 2012 at 03:44 AM
AWESOME FISH! So exciting!
Troy Alvarez November 29, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Troy A. I just seen this post and read some of the comments on the discrepency of the weight of that fish. My partners and I have caught UNCOUNTABLE Sturgeon. The biggest one landed was 75" and 110 pounds. It took two of us to hold it up. Just for a pic.As to not injure the fish. It is my experience that for every inch over 41/2 feet the fish is usually that much in weight. The biggest keeper I personally have caught was 65 & 7/8. It weighed 70 lbs. and it was FAT...That fish looks to me to be about 75 to 85 lbs MAX. But still a GREAT CATCH!!! What I didn't see posted was what kind of tackle was used and how long was the fight. That's what I'd like to know
Ryguy November 29, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Well folks, I think the cats out of the bag on this fish story....absolutely false information and embarrassing for Mr Howard. Seems a few folks like myself who are avid fisherman and have caught many stergeon know this ain't 100lbs of Sturgeon. Hey nice catch anyway and start saving for the forthcoming fine.
ty turner November 29, 2012 at 07:28 AM
All you negative fisherdudes are way to jealous. Go fish somewhere else.
Andrew November 29, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Looks like a 60-70 pound sturgeon from the picture. I hope it survived. But i dont know with his hands all up in its gills like that.
Phil M November 29, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Gary, congrats on this catch. What kind of fight did it give you? ________________________________________ Find a Career College near you, www.americolleges.com
TrueRealist November 29, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Exactly. The guys who could eyeball a fish and cearly say 100+ couldn't figure out that they were breaking the law. I'd say their judgement is in question at the very least.
W k November 29, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I agree that he is mishandling the fish, as exciting as it is to catch such a surprise from that lake. The western outdoor news would not accept a picture of any oversized sturgeon be handled, as it prompts individuals to handle the fish, possibly injuring it. I agree with the majority of folks in the area that it is not a 100+lbs fish, but it is a nice fish. Its a better story that some of the previous sturgeon stories put of del valle..."caught on power bait with 6lbs test line...." which we all know is a stright out lie, fishing from yhe shoreline. As far as the comment about crappie, i found that in Feb was the best months to fish them, with a crappie jig under a weighted bobber. The leader was about 3 feet long, and the was a breeze blowing the bobber along slowly which induced the bite. However, they move around alot....and when youfind them they are usually schooled in large groups. I caught and released well over 20, most were in the 1.5 lbs range with some bigger and smaller. The biggest concern was the a good portion of them had a disease attacking thier slime coat.
TrueRealist November 29, 2012 at 04:16 PM
PS - The Del Valle scale only goes to 50 lbs.
Kent Freeland November 29, 2012 at 05:18 PM
That's no 100-lb. fish. And even 100 lbs. is small for a sturgeon
Kendra Lee November 29, 2012 at 05:38 PM
I used to know a man back in the 70's that worked at the lab...for fun he would dive into Del Valle and search the shelves that the cat fish build for themselves in the deep areas. When he found a BIG cat fish, it was game on and he would wrestle the darn things??? He was from the deep south and I guess that's what they do for fun back there????? Apparently there are some pretty big cat fish hiding out there on those deep shelves......Only one way to find out !!
robert November 29, 2012 at 06:20 PM
your right!! not even close to 100 lbs, and the slot limit for sturgeon is 46"-66" whoever wrote this article needs to do more research!
Sean November 29, 2012 at 07:52 PM
Unless you are snagging them by the tails every fish would need its head out of the water to have the hook removed.
william sutter November 29, 2012 at 08:03 PM
How tall is Mr. Howard and how much does he weigh? lol I doubt the fish was actually weighed or measured and we are presented with estimates and opinions on both sides of this issue. My opinion, based on the photo and the reported information ... is that Gary Howard is about six foot five and weights 280 lbs. And he does a very credible job of holding a hundred pounds dead weight at chin heights.
TrueRealist November 29, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Not true. Sturgeon have large sucker mouths that come out of the bottom of their heads several inches. When they're tired from the fight they roll to their back, you unhook them and they swim away. Head never has to come out of the water. let me know if you have any other questions.
Hank Del Fiorentino November 29, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I think you should listen to TrueRealist he is very well informed and knows what he is talking about. I agree with him. Bukhnt, Napa, ca.
mdogger12 November 30, 2012 at 02:23 AM
hey they located gov. LSD moonbeams head.....
Rich November 30, 2012 at 07:05 AM
Congrats on the fish. A picture with it in the water would have been better, not hanging from the gills. 100 lbs, 40, 60, who cares, nice fish.
CW November 30, 2012 at 01:16 PM
What's Gary's occupation?....'cause if he's a [fish] surgeon, that's just too cool. "The Sturgeon Surgeon"............caviar, anyone?!
CW November 30, 2012 at 01:28 PM
...and I agree with Mr. Sutter. Judging by the photo [enlarged] and comparing the fish to 6 foot 5 inch, 280 lb. Gary, I'd say that fish weighs a good 100 lbs.
Rue Marsh November 30, 2012 at 01:42 PM
I remembere back in the 80"s some fishermen came up to Brookings,or. they were fishing the chetco river and they landed a 60lb salmon that was one monster salmon do not land salmon that big very often~
CastMaster925 December 03, 2012 at 04:49 AM
This is bs I fish at del valle all the time and the fish there are stock so there to dum to eat real bait 1,my friend works there and I get the boat for rent for free and he give me all the hot spot and I still barly ever catch any thing there only thing that bite there is cat fish and thats only off chicken liver near the docks ,they said 100 pound biggest strugon I ever catch was 86pound with a 20 pound egg sack and it was bigger than that
Suzy Reilly December 04, 2012 at 02:05 AM
seen him at walmart blowing up pictures of that fish ..He was Stoked to say the least....
Bennett December 06, 2012 at 01:29 AM
C'mon, it's at least 35 pounds, maybe even forty.
TrueRealist December 10, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Department of Fish and Game is looking to contact Mr. Howard as he broke the law and likely killed an exceptional fish. He's a poacher, not a hero.
TrueRealist December 10, 2012 at 08:39 PM
UPDATE!! Mr. Howard has recanted his story. The fish is now only 59" instead of the illegal 72" that he originally stated. Hard to have a record if they can't get the measurements correct. It would seem that Mr. Howard got caught in a fish story! http://www.norcalfishingnews.com/stories/record_sturgeon_catch_recounted_?id=791
Jeffrey twocents May 12, 2013 at 11:23 PM
59.5" Sturgeon caught @ Lake Chabot. Total weight? 45 lbs. LOL @ the 100lb fish story from Gary Howard http://www.norcalfishingnews.com/stories/45_pound_sturgeon_caught_at_lake_chabot?id=945


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