Fraser River: 12 Foot Sturgeon Could Be Biggest Fish Caught In North America

Vancouver, British Columbia — Michael and Margaret Snell must have some incredible luck, because the couple, who reeled in a sturgeon that was 1.5 meters long three years ago has just netted another one, which measured in at 4 meters long (12 feet).

The Huffington Post reports that the couple, who live in Salisbury, England, were enjoying a relaxing fishing trip along the Fraser River near Vancouver B.C., when they reeled in the giant fish, which weighed half a ton. It is now believed to be one of the biggest fish ever caught for sport in North America.

Michael Snell, 65, recalled seeing his rod tip, but noted that he fought with the fish for almost 45 minutes before it actually surfaced. He stated Friday that:

“We just saw a tail fin come up, then a bit later we saw a middle fin, and eventually, as it got tired, we saw the head come out as well. We realized the sheer length of this fish — next to the boat, it’s nearly as big as the boat.”

According to Global News, Dean Werk, who was serving as the couple’s guide, knew immediately that Snell had a huge catch. His wife, Margaret, even had to hold onto Snell’s harness so he wouldn’t be pulled into the river. Werk recalled:

“(The fish) peeled off 200 yards of line on its first run without even a blink,” said Werk. “We had to chase it down, we had to stay close to it, and Michael was having to work the fish back up, trying to keep it near the surface.”

Werk noticed once they pulled the white sturgeon onto the shore, that it was not tagged before, meaning this was the first time it had been caught. He believes that the massive fish was at least 100 years old, and based on a database kept by the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, Werk thinks it could be the largest fish ever caught in North America.

After taking pictures with the giant sturgeon, the Snells and Werk released it back into the river. Snell stated that it took days for the size of the fish to sink in. He stated:

“I could only get my arms halfway around the (sturgeon’s) head. It’s so big, like a wine barrel or a 50-gallon oil drum. Here I am, holding a dinosaur, virtually. You watch it breathe, watch it blow. … You just marvel at this fish.”