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Wildlife Official Reels In 7-Foot Fish in Detroit

240-pound sturgeon, which was released, could be 100 years old
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 1, 2021 10:26 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's quite a fish tale. A 240-pound sturgeon that could be more than 100 years old was caught last week in the Detroit River by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The "real life river monster" was nearly 7 feet long, the agency said Friday on Facebook, where the photo was shared more than 24,000 times by late afternoon. “Based on its girth and size, it is assumed to be a female and that she has been roaming our waters over 100 years. She was quickly released back into the river” after being weighed and measured, the Fish and Wildlife Service said. The typical lifespan is 55 years for a male sturgeon and 70 to 100 years for females, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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This fish was caught on April 22 near Grosse Ile, south of Detroit, while a three-person crew was conducting an annual sturgeon study. It took about six minutes to get the fish into the boat with a net. “I felt the fish thumping on the line. As it got closer, it just got bigger and bigger,” said Jason Fischer, who was with fellow biologists Paige Wigren and Jennifer Johnson. Wigren recalled thinking, “Yep, this is going to be a real good fish story.” Lake sturgeon are listed as a threatened species in Michigan. Anglers can keep one a year, but only if the fish is a certain size and is caught in certain state waters. All sturgeon caught in the Detroit River must be released.

(Read more fishing stories.)

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