british columbia buddies catch 300kg of sturgeon the first time they go out, then immediately let go

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Not only did Steve Eklund and Mark Boyce get lucky with catching sturgeon for the first time – they teetered on a monster as long as a U-haul truck and as heavy as a vending machine.

It took almost two hours to pull out a century-old sturgeon, which is 3.1 meters long, weighs 318 kilograms and has a circumference of 1.4 meters.

I use a reference jaws. You know, when I got out of the water, it was great to see what we had at the end of the line,” Ecklund said as it happens Guest host Tom Harrington.

“My muscles were hurting, I didn’t even know they were there.”

After they filmed and tagged their catch, the duo released the federally protected species back into the river.

A very close encounter – with both fish and friend

Ecklund and Boise were fishing in the Fraser River in Lillooet, BC, with fishing tour company River Monster Adventures over Father’s Day weekend, when they felt the sting of a giant sturgeon.

The next two hours were a test of endurance, a match of strength between them and the fish.

Eklund admitted that the fish nearly won, dragging it for nearly two kilometers as it fought to push it off.

He said, “You’re shivering. You can’t feel your arms anymore. That’s all you can do to hold on.” And I looked at [Boise] And I joked, “I wonder if we can cut the line without seeing the guides?” Because we were so tired.”

Ecklund, top and Boise fish for sturgeon in the Fraser River. (Monster River Fishing)

He says it all made him and his friend even closer together – literally.

‘There was a lot of close contact,’ said Ecklund, ’cause I was just wrapped around him and in front of him and behind him and you name it, you know, just kind of grabbing that stick. “It was the most embarrassing two hours I’ve ever spent with a good friend of mine.”

110 years old and never been arrested

In an email, River Monster Adventures said the fish was the biggest wound the company had ever seen.

“This is possibly the largest sturgeon caught in Upper Mainland,” said Kelsey Livingston, a company spokesperson.

Ecklund can certainly believe it.

“By taking the measurements and trying to hold him to take a picture, you will really feel the size of this thing,” he said. “There’s no way you can get around it. I mean, it was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Three men, waist-deep in green water, carried a huge white fish 3.1 meters long that flipped on its back.
The giant sturgeon, Ecklund says, fought a tough fight in the water, but became quite docile when he flipped it over on its back to measure, photograph, and tag it. (steve_ecklund_nextlevelhunter / Instagram)

River Monster Adventures estimates that the fish were about 110 years old. Hunting guides were unable to find any that had previously been flagged, indicating that this was the first time they had been discovered in a century ago.

White sturgeon can live to be over 150 years old and grow to six meters in length, according to the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society.

River Monster Adventures instructs Nick McCabe and Tyler Speed ​​to tag, measure and photograph the fish, then immediately release it back into the water, in accordance with the Federal Endangered Species Act.

“It was really cool to watch them go through all of that and collect data … to maintain that population,” Eklund said. “The more information we have, the better we can handle the species and help it survive in the long term.”

Ecklund, who is from Alberta, has a lot of outdoor experience and hosts a hunting show called the edge. But this was the first time he fished for sturgeon, and the first time he fished for the Fraser River.

“Now I’m just walking around with my chest swollen, you know, I’m a multitasker. I think I can do everything and land all the big things,” he said with a laugh.

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview with Steve Ecklund; produced by Paul McInnes.

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