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Manitoba Sport Fisher Encounters Largest Fraser Sturgeon in 2012

Posted on October 1st 2012, by Tony Nootebos, BC Sportfishing Group

Harrison Hot Springs, BC – On September 29th, 2012 BC Sportfishing Group client, Manitoba sport fishing enthusiast Kimm Blaquiere caught a true fish of a lifetime, near Mission, British Columbia. With assistance from BC Sportfishing Group (BCSFG) angling guide Mike Neufeld, Blaquiere's leviathan surfaced to greet the enthusiastic cheers of spectators on boats nearby. Neufeld is responsible for over 2300 samples for the study to date.

After landing this white sturgeon and tagging it for the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society's (FRSCS) monitoring and assessment program, they were amazed to realize this fish measured 340cm in length (fork Length) and 145 cm in girth – a whopping 11' 2". Those measurements make this the largest 'tagged and released' white sturgeon on the Fraser River for the 2012 season. Although not a world record, this fish was estimated to weigh roughly 750 lbs.

Every Fraser River white sturgeon encountered by BC Sportfishing Group fishing guides is sampled as part of the FRSCS' ongoing monitoring and assessment program. The study uses the fork length and girth length from behind the pectoral fins measurements, to ensure consistency across all samples. It is also the measurement used by the International Game Fish Association (IFGA) when documenting their record catches.

This amazing sturgeon represents the size of mature brood stock needed to create the next generation of the species. Senior fisheries biologist and FRSCS Chair, Karl English sees hope in this encounter.

"Fish in this size range are likely female and more than 100 years old. FRSCS has obtained size data from more than 50,000 sturgeon tagged over the past 12 years. This sturgeon is one of the top five largest measured in our monitoring and assessment program and we want to do everything we can to ensure their ability to reproduce. Thanks to the data collected by our volunteers, we are able to monitor the status of the lower Fraser sturgeon population, track growth rates and take action towards the protection and recovery of this species," English said.

Featured on National Geographic, Discovery Channel Europe and recent recipient of the FRSCS Leadership in Conservation Award for a Business, BCSFG guides have tagged and recorded more information for the FRSCS than any other company in British Columbia. The BCSFG management team support many fisheries related organizations dedicated to securing a better sport fishing opportunity for the future. Key affiliations include: Fraser Valley Salmon Society, Fraser Valley Angling Guides Association, Salmon Table, Sport Fish Advisory Committee, Sport Fishing Institute, as well as the many others.

For more information about BCSFG, please contact 1-877-796-3345 or visit their website.

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