Wildlife Officials Find Lake Sturgeon That's Almost 50 Years old

Rutland, Vt. - Vermont Fish & Wildlife says its staff has recaptured a sturgeon that was tagged 19 years ago.

Wildlife officials say the sturgeon is 48 years old.

We first saw this fish in 1998 when it was roughly 29 years old,” said Chet MacKenzie, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.

“It’s a really interesting story to see this fish 19 years later, and another great example of the incredible longevity that the species is known for,” added MacKenzie.

According to a media release, when the sturgeon was recaptured in May it weighed 78 pounds and was 67.5 inches long.

“We recaptured this fish several times between 1998 and 2002. This year we implanted an acoustic tag which will allow us to follow its movements for up to 10 years,” said MacKenzie.

Wildlife officials say Lake sturgeon are an endangered species in Vermont and can only be found on Lake Champlain and the lower areas of the Winooski, Lamoille and Missisquoi rivers, and Otter Creek.

“If by chance an angler catches a sturgeon, we ask that they leave the sturgeon in the water and remove the hook if the fish is hooked in the mouth, but cut the line and leave the hook in place if the hook is swallowed,” said MacKenzie.

Official say if you catch a sturgeon you should report it the Fish & Wildlife Department at 802-878-1564.


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