Monday, November 17, 2014

A Disturbing Catch

Update:   I am doing some research with the assistance of a few academic folk to uncover the true source of the injuries to the sturgeon below.   Stay tuned for a new post in the next few days which will hopefully provide more clarity!  Much thanks to all who have shown an interest in the subject!


With moderate temperatures and low wind (0 degrees with a breeze), which most would consider way too cold to attempt kayak fishing, 3 friends were silly enough to join me for a sturgeon fish!   The morning started off very slow, with no sign of any fish for the first four hours or so.   Craig and Chris both packed up to head home and I was actually considering doing the same, when John in his homemade kayak still caked in ice finally found a sturgeon.

It was a small one, but it was a sign, and sure enough, before long I caught one and then both John and I got somewhat busy.   Over the next 3 hours or so, I landed 11 sturgeon while John landed 10!    That is what we were hoping for!    My largest was just a hair under 48", the third fish I've caught in that size range the last 3 weeks!    Oh, I also caught a sucker, the first one of these I've seen in a few months!

Anyhow, my very first fish at a heavy 45 inches, was heavily damaged.    There was a scute ropped from his back, and others damaged as well.  The side of his face, the side of his body, and scutes on the bottom all showed damage as well.    This is a fish that has endured a lot, and from what I can tell, it was done recently.    Asking on Facebook what may be the cause, folk seem to agree this was likely done by gill nets.

Obviously anyone using nets on the Kennebacasis River would be doing so illegally.   I have no time for poachers, and consider them absolute scum.   If anyone reading this blog has information about this type of activity and is wary of approaching the authorities, then please, let me know and I'll pass on the information!

I don't know if poachers would be out trying to net sturgeon or stripers in our river.   Either way it is equally disgusting, and damaging to our fish populations and in no way should be tolerated.  If you see or hear of anyone netting fish, please do something about it!

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