The fabrication of a wide variety of GaN-based photonic and electronic devices depends on dry etching, which typically requires ion-assisted removal of the substrate material. Under conditions of both high plasma flux and energetic ion bombardment, GaN etch rates greater than 0.5 νm/min and anisotropic etch profiles are readily achieved in Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) etch systems. Unfortunately, under these conditions plasma-induced damage often occurs. Attempts to minimize such damage by reducing the ion energy or increasing the chemical activity in the plasma often result in a loss of etch rate or profile control which can limit dimensional control and reduce the utility of the process for device applications requiring anisotropic etch profiles. It is therefore necessary to develop plasma etch processes which couple anisotropy for critical dimension and sidewall profile control and high etch rates with low-damage for optimum device performance. In this study we report changes in source resistance, reverse breakdown voltage, transconductance, and drain saturation current for GaN MESFET structures exposed to an Ar ICP plasma. In general, device performance was sensitive to ion bombardment energy and ion flux.