Thursday, April 21, 2022

Cool catch and release!


A Paddlefish snagger Troy Staggs got a surprise when he inadvertently landed his second lake sturgeon from Lake of the Ozarks. It was 56 inches long, weighed 50–55 pounds, and is around 30 years old.

This was the sixth lake sturgeon reported from LOZ since 2016. Instead of snagging the fish, his fishing tackle wrapped around its tail! It took him 47 minutes to bring the fish to the boat, where he took a quick measurement, snapped a few pictures, and released the fish back into the lake. 

Lake sturgeon can live to over 100 years old and reach over 200 pounds. They are Missouri’s longest-lived animal and our second largest fish. They become adults at around 25 years and move into tributary streams to spawn.

This makes them more visible as the fish frequently spawn in shallow water. MDC began stocking lake sturgeon in the 1980s and continues to stock them to help recover this state-endangered species. Lake sturgeon are protected in Missouri and should be released immediately after capture. 

Anglers are encouraged to report any lake sturgeon captures or sightings to local conservation agents or by calling the lake sturgeon recovery leader at 573-248-2530.

Courtesy of the Missouri Department of Conservation

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