ROME, Ga. — When going fishing in northwest Georgia, one might now be able to find this record-breaking lake sturgeon discovered in the Coosa River Basin.
University of Georgia researchers caught the 52-inch, 24-pound behemoth and, according to the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, is the largest-reported of its species since the native fish began being stocked in 2001.
The fish was implanted with a radio tag before its release back into the river, the DNR said in a social media post.
The Georgia DNR says lake sturgeon cannot be harvested and must be handled gently and released back into the water upon catch.
Lake sturgeon have been recently reintroduced into the Coosa River Basin, with a primary goal of re-establishing a native sport fish to Georgia waters.
The Wildlife Resources Division says that lake sturgeon grow large and are fun for anglers to catch, and that they had reported good harvests of lake sturgeon in Georgia waters as recently as the 1950s before they suddenly disappeared.
Considering the longevity of lake sturgeon and the substantial harvests reported by some anglers, over-harvest was an expected factor in the disappearance of the Coosa River population, according to the Georgia DNR.
Officials ask that you contact the Armuchee Fisheries Office at 706-295-6102 if you locate or catch a lake sturgeon in this region. You should note the date and location of your sighting, photograph the fish, if possible, and provide your name and telephone number so biologists can contact you about your sighting.
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