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A 1 1/2 metre sunfish washed up at the head of Moose River in Annapolis County. (Deb Megeney)

A 180-kilogram tropical fish washed up in low tide in Annapolis County Tuesday night.

A group of people tried unsuccessfully Tuesday night to save a 1 ½-metre long sunfish that got caught up in the low tide at the head of the Moose River near Clementsport.

"It was massive," said Deb Megeney. She and three others saw a strange looking fish struggling in the mud and shallow water.

They ventured out onto the mud flats after they saw it from land. At first they thought it was a beached whale until they got up close.

"It looked almost pre-historic. It just didn't look like anything that you would find in our waters," said Megeney.

Sunfish are usually found in tropical waters.

It's believed the fish may have been chasing after some food and got caught up in a pool of water at low tide.

Edith Berry and her husband Rick were among those who tried to help the fish with buckets, a tarp and shovels but they couldn't move it from the mud.

"They took out shovels and dug a trench around it to try and keep it in the water and it just didn't survive," said Berry.