Flood-Stranded Fraser River Sturgeon Saved By Guides (Video)

Rescuing 6-foot, 220-pound fish proves a handful

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Southern British Columbia was hit by intense flooding in recent weeks, leading locals to pitch in with the rescue and relief efforts. Two members of the Fraser Valley Angling Guides Association (FVAGA) found their expertise in demand when a large sturgeon was spotted trapped in a puddle left by receding floodwaters. Sling in hand, the anglers swooped in to carry the big fish to freedom—no small task for North America’s largest freshwater fish.

Rescuing a Flood-Stranded Sturgeon

The sturgeon was first spotted by a helicopter flying near Herrling Island, between Chilliwack and Hope, BC. It was partially submerged in only eight inches of water, and unable to escape the shrinking puddle.

Professional fishing guides Tyler Buck and Jay Gibson arrived and scooped up the stranded fish, capturing part of their long walk on video. Carrying a fish that weighs as much as a person, the two-kilometer trip back to the Fraser’s main channel was a whole different kind of portage.

FVAGA director, Kevin Estrada spoke with local media about the big rescue, only part of the group’s relief efforts following the recent floods:

“Estrada explains that the two ‘sampled’ the fish, meaning they weighed it and took its measurements, as well as scanning it for and RFID chip—a device that is found in many sturgeon in the Fraser.

The RFID program is managed by the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, as a way of individually tracking the fish, and the overall health of the species.

This particular fish had been previously tagged. … Estrada says it ‘swam away strong and healthy” when it was released.’”

Fraser River Sturgeon are Incomparable

Beyond showing compassion, the rescue effort helps to ensure these amazing, endangered giants will continue to swim the Fraser as they have since prehistoric times. And they will continue to tempt anglers who come from far and wide to target a catch-and-release quarry like no other, as you can see below.

 

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