Giant Sturgeon Washes Ashore

One of the largest fish ever seen on the lake. Photo by VT Game Warden Assoc.

A dead six foot nine inch sturgeon washed ashore in Isle La Motte earlier this month. The fish is one of the largest seen in modern times on the lake according to Chet MacKenzie of Vermont Fish and Wildlife. Officials think this fish died of natural causes.

Sturgeon can live up to 150 years. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service says they were once considered a nuisance fish by commercial fishermen and were widely slaughtered. Habitat loss along their spawning grounds also contributed to the decline. Lake Champlain has the only lake sturgeon population in New England.

Sturgeon are an endangered species in Vermont. Harvesting a lake sturgeon would result in the loss of an angler’s fish and wildlife licenses in Vermont and most other states for up to three years, and would result in over $2,000 in fines.