The Sturgeon of the Fraser River

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Dinosaurs Among Us
The Sturgeon of the Fraser River

by Steve Kaye

People say that the dinosaurs are extinct, but here in British Columbia's Fraser Valley, we have a remnant from the past . . . STURGEON. There is no doubt that this creature is prehistoric. Anyone who has been lucky enough to experience the raw power and brute strength of a sturgeon will quickly come to the conclusion that this is a very unique and special creature.

At the present time the Fraser River is home to a healthy population of sturgeon and all indications are that the fish are doing well and reproducing. This was not always the case. The sturgeon was almost wiped out in the late 1800's due to excessive commercial fishing. But it is a tough species and has managed to survive. Sturgeon do not mature to a breeding state until about 25 years of age and because of this they have been susceptible to over fishing by sport fishermen. Thankfully sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River is strictly catch and release. Anglers who are into catching BIG fish can really appreciate fishing for sturgeon. This is a fish that can reach lengths of over 12-feet and can weigh as much as 1000 pounds . . . yikes!!! Most of the sturgeon in the Fraser River that are caught by sport anglers tend to be in the 4 to 7-foot range weighing between 50 and 200 pounds.

The common misconception that most people have about sturgeon is that they don't fight and that they come in like a log, well, nothing could be farther from the truth. If you have ever caught a salmon, then you know how a sturgeon fights when hooked! They run, roll, twist and let's not forget the best part . . . they JUMP! There is just nothing I can say to properly describe the way it feels when a 6, 7, 8 or even a 9-foot plus fish takes flight while attached to the end of a fishing line. You just have to experience it for your self!

One of the most unique aspects of the sturgeon is the respect it inspires in the anglers who have had the opportunity to catch one of these special creatures. You just can't help but appreciate his fighting ability and his toughness to survive, when all others from his era have long since disappeared.

Fraser River sturgeons are available to the sport anglers from March through November. If you haven't had the opportunity to catch a living dinosaur lately, then you just gotta see what its all about and pull on a blast from the past called STURGEON.

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The Sturgeon of the Fraser River

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The Sturgeon of the Fraser River