The best lobster dinner you'll ever eat is just waiting for you in the Columbia River.

No, there aren't huge Maine-sized lobsters lurking on on the riverbed.

There are a few crawfish, though.

No, what we are talking about is an old recipe from times when sturgeon weren't endangered and families needed more than a few recipes. It took more than a few meals to finish the car-sized ancient fish.

Now that the dwindling stocks are managed, seasons shouldn't be taken for granted.

Now is the right time to catch and keep legal-size white sturgeon in Lake Wallula (McNary Dam to Priest Rapids/Ice Harbor dams) through July 31.

Remember, legal fish measure 43 to 54 inches (fork length) to be retained.

But about that lobster dinner.

I got this simple pleasure of a recipe from an old fishing buddy named Phil Zoller. Phil and I spent countless hours fishing for northern pikeminnow and would often talk about recipes, even sharing a few over meals as the seasons went on.

This is a sure crowd favorite, which you can substitute with cod for if you don't have the back for sturgeon fishing.

Columbia River "Poor Man's Lobster" Recipe:

YOU WILL NEED:
One sturgeon filet
1 two-liter 7-Up (sprite will work, too)
Lots of sweet cream butter
Old Bay Seasoning

Pour 7-up into pot until at least 2 inches deep.
Cut the fish into cubes about an inch long.
Place fish into pot and bring to boil.

Boil for five minutes.

Gently place pieces on broiling sheet and cover in melted butter. Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning over the pieces.

Broil in the oven for 8 minutes.

Serve with melted butter.