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Oklahoma Angler Makes Surprising Catch on the Arkansas River

An Oklahoma angler catches a fish that was hiding from state researchers for decades.

Greg Bowers fishes in the Tulsa stretch of the Arkansas River all the time – but he’s never caught anything like the catch he made back in December.

While fishing the river in his waders, he caught an bizarre armor-plated fish that was under two feet long.

He told local news that he has seen nearly every fish in the book, but didn’t recognize the catch he made that day.

“I seen what it was and like, ‘holy cow’ and then I was like, ‘oh my God’,” Bowers said.

So the Oklahoma angler did some research on his phone and discovered that the fish was a shovelnose sturgeon – a fish listed as a species of special concern in Oklahoma. State biologists knew the fish were in the river, but they didn’t know where.

But Bowers seemed to have the magic touch that day – he caught two more of the seldom seen fish in just 30 minutes.

A shovelnose sturgeon. Image via Wikimedia Commons

He called up the state Wildlife Department to let them know what he had caught. As the department sent some dive crews to river, Bowers tried to keep the fish alive.

“I dug a trench in the river and made a big ol’ pool so that the water could run through it, to kind of keep it aerated,” he said.

Wildlife officials were surprised to discover shovelnose sturgeon were living in that part of the Arkansas River. Apparently, the department’s base of operations is nearby where the catches were made.

The week following the discovery, dive crews were able to capture some unique footage of the shovelnose sturgeon in their habitat. They shared the video with local news station News On 6. Take a look. – Tulsa, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports – |


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Oklahoma Angler Makes Surprising Catch on the Arkansas River