Windsor·Video

Wildlife crew makes 'once in a lifetime catch' of giant sturgeon, likely alive for 100 years

Tipping the scales at about 108 kilograms (240 pounds), this adult lake sturgeon — considered one of the largest ever recorded in the U.S. — is a touch longer than the wildlife crew members who caught it.

The sturgeon was quickly released back into the Detroit River

Meet the guy who helped reel in one of the Great Lakes' biggest sturgeon

CBC News Windsor

12 days ago
1:22
Fish biologist Jason Fischer of the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office shares his experience of reeling in the record-breaking fish. 1:22

Tipping the scales at about 108 kilograms (240 pounds), this adult lake sturgeon is a touch longer than the wildlife crew members who caught it.

The organization said its Detroit River native species crew caught the sturgeon, which it considers one of the largest ever recorded in the U.S., last week.

"Based on its girth and size, it is assumed to be a female and that she has been roaming our waters over 100 years," said the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office in a Facebook post, calling it a "once in a lifetime" catch.

"She likely hatched in the Detroit River around 1920 when Detroit became the 4th largest city in America."

The lake sturgeon is billed at six-feet-ten inches — "much longer" than the typical length for this type of fish which is between four and six feet, according to Trevor Pitcher of the LaSalle Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre.

Pitcher added that lake sturgeon usually live about 80 years but it's possible for some to live a full century.

A once in a lifetime catch...- Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Facebook

In terms of weight, Pitcher has observed lake sturgeon weigh between 100 and 160 pounds and said the Alpena crew's find was "much larger" than anything he's seen before.

The fish was quickly released back into the river after it was processed.

This picture from the LaSalle Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre shows what an adult lake sturgeon normally looks like:

Trevor Pitcher, right, along with a colleague holds a male adult lake sturgeon. The much larger fish caught by the Alpena wildlife crew is female, giving it a rounder frame than its male counterpart. (Submitted by Trevor Pitcher)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sanjay Maru is a reporter at CBC Windsor. Email him at sanjay.maru@cbc.ca.

With files from Chris Ensing

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