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240-pound sturgeon caught in Michigan among biggest ever recorded
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240-pound sturgeon caught in Michigan among biggest ever recorded

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How's this for a big fish story.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crew caught a 240-pound sturgeon last week. It is 6-foot-10, with a girth of nearly 4 feet. It is a native — and threatened — species to Michigan and one of the largest lake sturgeon ever caught in the United States.

"We're trying to protect this fishery," said Justin Chiotti, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. "Everybody is always catching a huge sturgeon. Everybody catches a 100-pounder. But a fish this size is very, very rare to catch."

This fish was caught by a crew in a boat near Grosse Ile in the Detroit River.

The crew of three — two women and a man all in their 30s — measured and tagged the fish, a female, with a chip similar to what people put in their pets. So if anyone ever caught it again in the next 100 years, that person would know it was the same one and release it.

They also took a photo of it, which, any fisher knows, is essential.

Within minutes, the photo posted to social media Friday started going viral.

Very Old Fish

This April 22, 2021, photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a 240-pound sturgeon that could be more than 100 years old was caught in the Detroit River by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a USFWS staffer lying next to it. The nearly 7-foot-long fish, assumed to be a female, was quickly released back into the river after being weighed and measured.

What is less known, however, is the story of how it was caught.

The three scientists — Paige Wigren, Jennifer Johnson, and Jason Fischer — were on the Detroit River last week and had been fishing for a while, they said. They had five lines in the water.

Until then, they had only managed to catch a 5-gallon bucket.

The first three lines came up empty, but then, just before noon, Fischer, who was the newest to the crew, said he felt something on the line, a slight tug — and maybe, he said aloud, it was a fish.

Johnson was driving the 26-foot-long boat. Wigren was handling the hooks.

"The fish started to surface," igren said, recounting the story. "Jason said, 'There's a fish coming up,' and Jenny looked over, and she said, 'Big fish! Big fish!' I moved to the back of the boat, grabbed the net."

Here are five destinations to consider when the time is right to pursue a family fly-fishing adventure:

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