A fish recently caught in Michigan weighed in at about the same size as a Detroit Lions linebacker and was as lengthy as a Piston’s power forward. It wasn’t quite the size of Prince Fielder (for those of you fans that remember pro baseball’s largest vegetarian power hitter), but it was still a sheer and utter unit.
The fish was also a female. So where the big girls at? In the Detroit River, apparently. That is where the fish was caught.
The aquatic dinosaur weighed in at a whopping 240-pounds and measured 6-feet 10-inches long. It’s girth was also thicker than bugs on a semi-truck’s bumper, measuring 4-feet around. Remarkably enough, it’s still 70-pounds skinnier than the largest lake sturgeon ever recorded.
Judging the exact age of fish can be difficult, but based on the measurements of the sturgeon, scientists estimate that it’s probably roughly at least a century old, and possibly even closer to 150 years old.
The fish was likely born while the roaring 20’s were just getting rolling, that means it has lived through 2 world wars, more President’s than I feel like counting right now, and the entire length of Kid Rock’s impressive career.
“A once in a lifetime catch for our Detroit River native species crew last week! This real life river monster was tipping the scales at 240 lbs, measuring 6’10” long, and a girth of nearly 4′. Caught in the Detroit River, this fish is one of the largest lake sturgeon ever recorded in the U.S.
Based on its girth and size, it is assumed to be a female and that she has been roaming our waters over 100 years. So, she likely hatched in the Detroit River around 1920 when Detroit became the 4th largest city in America.
She was quickly released back into the river after being processed!”
A once in a lifetime catch for our Detroit River native species crew last week! This real life river monster was tipping…
The sturgeon was pulled into the boat as part of a research project lead by the Detroit River Native Species Crew from the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. The fish was affixed with a radio tracking device and returned to the water in a timely fashion. The device will monitor it’s movement and habits by the Detroit River Native Species Crew from the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office.
The fish was so big, that photos of it went viral within minutes of being first posted to social media with the Detroit Free Press eventually breaking news and sharing the full fish tale.
“The three scientists — Paige Wigren, Jennifer Johnson and Jason Fischer — were on the Detroit River last Thursday, and had been fishing for a while, they said. They had five lines in the water.
“The fish started to surface,” Wigren said, recounting the story. “Jason said, ‘There’s a fish coming up,’ and Jenny looked over, and she said, ‘Big fish! Big fish!’ I moved to the back of the boat, grabbed the net.”
Despite their enormous size, sturgeon fisheries remain in a somewhat fluid state. Though present on the planet for more than 100 million years, their numbers have dropped precipitously over the last century due to commercial exploitation of the fishery and other ecological factors.
Hopefully the excitement that this big mamma rallied on social media is enough to raise awareness for sturgeon conservation efforts moving forward.
With ample funding for scientifically sound management, one day soon robust sturgeon populations might just bounce back like Slim Shady.