B.C. buddies catch 300-kg sturgeon on their 1st day out, then promptly let it go


Not solely did Steve Ecklund and Mark Boise get fortunate their first time sturgeon fishing — they reeled in a beast so long as a U-haul truck and as heavy as a merchandising machine. 

It took the pair practically two hours to haul within the century-old sturgeon, which was 3.1 metres lengthy, 1.4 metres vast, and weighed 318 kilograms. 

“I take advantage of the reference of Jaws. You understand, when it got here out of the water, it was outstanding to really see what we had on the tip of the road,” Ecklund advised As It Occurs visitor host Tom Harrington.

“I had muscle groups hurting that I did not even know existed.”

After they’d photographed and tagged their catch, the duo launched the federally protected species again into the river. 

A really shut encounter —  with each fish and pal

Ecklund and Boise have been fishing within the Fraser River in Lillooet, B.C., with the fishing expedition firm River Monster Adventures over Father’s Day weekend, once they felt the large sturgeon chunk. 

The subsequent two hours have been a take a look at of endurance, and match of energy between them and the fish.

The fish, Ecklund admitted, virtually gained, dragging them roughly two kilometres as they fought to reel it in. 

“You are shaking. You’ll be able to’t really feel your arms anymore. It is simply all you are able to do to hold on,” he mentioned. “And I checked out [Boise] and, joking, I mentioned, ‘I’m wondering if we might reduce the road with out the guides seeing?’ As a result of we have been so exhausted.”

Two men in a boat, fishing. One man is standing and holding a fishing rod that's visibly being tugged on. The other is sitting behind him. Both men are facing away from the camera.
Ecklund, high, and Boise fishing for sturgeon within the Fraser River. (River Monster Fishing)

He says entire factor introduced him and his buddy nearer collectively — actually.

“There was plenty of shut contact there, as a result of I used to be wrapped round him and in entrance of him and behind him and also you title it, , simply form of grabbing on that rod,” Ecklund mentioned with a chuckle. “It was probably the most awkward two hours I’ve ever spent with a great buddy of mine.”

110 years previous, and by no means earlier than caught

In an e mail, River Monster Adventures mentioned the fish was the largest surgeon the corporate has ever seen.

“That is presumably the largest sturgeon caught within the Higher Principal Land,” mentioned Kelsey Livingston, a spokesperson for the corporate.

Ecklund can actually imagine it.

“Taking the measurements and making an attempt to even maintain him for an image, you get to actually really feel the girth on this factor,” he mentioned. “There is not any manner you might get your arms round it. I imply, it was the largest factor I’ve ever seen.”

Three men, waist-deep in greenish water, holding up a massive,  3.1-metres long white fish that's flopped over on its back.
Ecklund says the large sturgeon put up a mighty struggle within the water, however grew to become utterly docile once they flipped it on its again to measure, {photograph} and tag it. (steve_ecklund_nextlevelhunter/Instagram)

River Monster Adventures estimates the fish was about 110 years previous. The fishing guides could not discover any proof it had ever been tagged earlier than, indicating that is the primary time it has been caught in its century-long existence.

White sturgeons can stay to be greater than 150 years previous and develop so long as six metres, in line with the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.

River Monster Adventures guides Nick McCabe and Tyler Pace tagged, measured and photographed the fish, then promptly launched it again into the water, in compliance with the federal Species at Threat Act.

“It was actually neat to look at them undergo all that and accumulate information … to maintain that inhabitants,” Ecklund mentioned. “The extra data we’ve got, the higher off we are able to take care of the species and assist it survive long run.”

Ecklund, who’s from Alberta, has loads of expertise open air and hosts a searching present referred to as The Edge. However this was his first time sturgeon fishing, and his first time fishing the Fraser River.

“Now I simply stroll round with my chest puffed out saying, , I am a multi-outdoorsman. I suppose I can do all of it and land all the massive ones,” he mentioned with fun.


Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview with Steve Ecklund produced by Paul MacInnis.

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