And I thought the seven-foot seven-inch leviathan I caught back in April was big! B.C.’s Fraser River continues to serve up massive white sturgeon this year, with an 11-foot two-inch specimen landed this past Saturday. Credit goes to Manitoba angler Kimm Blaquiere, who was fishing near Mission with guide Mike Neufeld of Harrison Hot Springs-based B.C. Sportfishing Group. That fork-to-tail measurement eclipses the length of the Fraser’s next biggest fish of 2012 by some six inches.
According to BCSFG president Tony Nootebos, the giant fish was a so-called virgin sturgeon, meaning it had never been tagged before (also meaning, in all likelihood, that it had never been caught before). After taking the sturgeon’s official measurements for the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society’s monitoring and assessment program, Blaquiere and Neufeld safely released the fish back into the Fraser. With a girth of almost five feet, the giant weighed an estimated 750 pounds. One word: wow.
Under the sturgeon monitoring and assessment program, BCSFG guides measure the fork length and girth length from behind the pectoral fins to ensure consistency across all samples. That’s also the measurement used by the International Game Fish Association when documenting record catches.
My feature article on this amazing fishery will appear in Outdoor Canada magazine’s Fishing 2013 special, due out next February.