Rescue of 75-year-old sturgeon a positive for endangered species

Rescue of 75-year-old sturgeon a positive for endangered species

Outdoors

Rescue of 75-year-old sturgeon a positive for endangered species

A 300-pound sturgeon estimated to be 75 years old was discovered trapped in a pond of low water on a bend of the Fraser River, prompting local officials to launch a challenging rescue mission of the endangered species.

The 8-foot sturgeon was spotted by officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police First Nations Police near Agassiz, British Columbia, on Sept. 20, the Vancouver Sun reported Tuesday.

A day later, it took eight people to catch the monster fish and transport it safely to the Fraser River, where it slowly swam off. The RCMP released video of the rescue mission Tuesday.

“If there had only been one or two people there, I swear it would have bowled somebody over,” RCMP Cpl. Mike Rail told the Vancouver Sun.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada list the upper Fraser River sturgeon population as endangered, so saving this one was definitely a positive.

After using a net to corral the sturgeon, six men wrestled it into a sling, which proved to be the most difficult part of the rescue operation. It was then carried to a pickup truck and put into a tarp-lined box for the half-mile trip to the river, according to Vancouver is Awesome.

Also on BNQT: Brothers haul 113-pound catfish from river, but not without a struggle

The RCMP, a biologist from the B.C. Ministry of Forest Lands, representatives from the Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, officials from the Lower Fraser River Guardians and a volunteer from the local community all participated.

“All in a day’s work—just one of the things we do,” RCMP Sgt. Gerry Hansom told the Vancouver Sun. “Strong community ties are important. The rescue was completed with the combined efforts of a number of resources pulling together.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada describes the white sturgeon as the largest and longest-lived freshwater fish species in North America,with some reported being over 19-feet long and 100 years old.

Photo provided by the RCMP.

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