Any guesses as to how much length and weight this sturgeon gained over the last 19 years?
Sturgeon are fascinating fish. Prehistoric in appearance, this ancient bottom feeder bears rows of bony plates on its back and sides and can live to the ripe old age of 55 years. The lake sturgeon is an endangered fish in Vermont, that's why this latest discovery is both exciting and eye-opening.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologists tagged a sturgeon back in 1998. At that time, it was 29 years of age - measuring 66 inches and weighing 69 pounds. So, you can imagine the surprise when biologists recaptured the fish this week, 19 years later!
The sturgeon, now a senior citizen at 48 years of age, currently measures 68 inches and has attained a weight of 78 pounds. That works out to 2 inches and 9 pounds gained in total.
Here's what the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Facebook page had to say:
Wow, this is incredible! Vermont Fish & Wildlife fisheries biologists just captured and examined a lake sturgeon they had previously captured and tagged in 1998! This sturgeon had actually been recaptured several times between 1998 and 2002, but that was the last time it was seen. Biologists implanted an acoustic tag in it this time, which will allow them to follow its movements for up to 10 years.
It is illegal to fish for sturgeon in Vermont. Any accidentally caught sturgeon should be left in the water and the hook removed if it is in the mouth, or the line cut if the hook has been swallowed. Report these sturgeon to the Fish & Wildlife Department through your local warden.
One thing's for sure - this sturgeon certainly kept its figure over all those years. If only we could all be as lucky.
Be sure to follow the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Facebook page. The work they do is second to none.
Images Courtesy of Vermont Fish and Wildlife.
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