While participating in a fishing tournament, a Florida man was knocked unconscious by a sturgeon who leaped out of the water and into his boat.
An Alachua, FL man participating in a fishing tournament on the Suwannee River has been injured after a jumping sturgeon landed in his boat and then hit him. The powerful fish hit the man so hard, it knocked him unconscious.
Angler Ronald Dick, 62, was fishing with his son on their boat traveling 30 miles per hour (MPH) when the sturgeon jumped out of the water–hitting the boat’s windshield and operator.
Mr. Dick was immediately taken a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries. He has since been released from the hospital. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had a more thorough, detailed account of the incident.
“This is the first sturgeon incident for 2016,” said Maj. Andy Krause, commander for the FWC’s North Central Region in Lake City. “Boaters need to be aware that these fish are in the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers. We want people to enjoy the recreational opportunities on the rivers, but we also want people realize these fish do jump and can hurt you.”
“Please don’t think this can’t happen to you, especially if the water levels continue to drop. If you are boating on the rivers during the summer months, there’s a good chance you could encounter a sturgeon jumping out of the water,” Krause said.
“We certainly don’t want to scare people off the river. This is a beautiful area that everyone should enjoy,” Krause added. “However, please be aware these fish are there and they do jump.”
Last year, the FWC recorded eight injuries and one fatality as a result of striking sturgeons. From 2013-2014, no injuries were reported. Researchers believe sturgeon are leaping out of the Suwannee River due to higher levels of water now concentrated there. Moreover, roughly 10,000 sturgeons reside in the Suwannee River. They typically average 40 pounds and can jump upwards of seven feet out of the water.
Isn’t this quite an odd incident? It’s miraculous the angler suffered non-life threatening injuries. When fishing, always be careful and exercise caution!