Giant sturgeon caught in Detroit River may be 100 years old | Fish
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received a big surprise last week when it caught a giant fish in the Detroit River, estimated to be more than 100 years old.
The 240-pound sea sturgeon was caught on April 22nd by a crew of three south of Detroit near Grosse Ile. The agency described the giant fish, which was almost ten feet long, as “a real river monster”.
The large aquatic creature was caught with frozen round goby, small, soft-bodied fish that serve as tasty snacks for sturgeon as bait on a long line that extends deep into the Detroit River. It took about six minutes for the fishery biologist crew to net the large fish into their boat.
“I felt the fish tap on the line. As it got closer, it got bigger, ”said Jason Fischer, who was with biologists Paige Wigren and Jennifer Johnson.
Man versus fish. Photo: AP
The agency said it quickly released the fish back into the river after it was weighed and measured.
Wigren recalled thinking at the time that catching the sturgeon would lead to a “really good fish story.”
“She was tired and didn’t fight us very much,” said Wigren. “Imagine everything the fish went through and saw.”
Lake Sturgeon, an endangered species in Michigan and 18 other states, is freshwater fish known to inhabit the bottom of lakes, river basins, and drains such as Hudson Bay, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi, according to the Fish & Wildlife Service Flow. Over-harvesting and habitat loss due to dam construction are well-known reasons for the decline in fish.
Anglers can keep one sturgeon per year, but only if the fish is a certain size and caught in some state waters. All sturgeon caught in the Detroit River must be released.
While the typical lifespan for a male sturgeon is 55 years and for women 70 to 100 years, the gigantic Detroit River sturgeon, female, is believed to have lived even longer, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
“Because of its girth and size, it is believed to be a woman and that she has been in our waters for over 100 years,” said the fish and wildlife service.