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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have only been sturgeon fishing twice in my life and both times were with experienced fisherman. I was wondering if there is a proper way to bring a sturgeon in the boat for pictures? Is it even a good idea? Is it alright to put one hand in the mouth and one by the tail? Can you injure yourself? Planning on going this coming weekend, so any tips would be appreciated.

Rogue0412
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Lifting a sturgeon out of the water on a "cradle" would be the preferred method. Grabbing the Sturgeon by its mouth and tail and lifting it out of the water to lay on an engine cover may be less preferred but IMO when done gently only for a short period of time does not harm the fish. Note the word GENTLE. This would be no different that lifting a Spring or other fish out of the water for a short time to take a quick pic. Difference is the engine cover is the Sturgeons support rather than your hand.

Trying to lift a fish that is beyond a single persons control or sliding/dragging it up over the side of the boat should not be done. In these situations it would be better, (if taking a picture was the objective), to take the fish to shore and leave it in the water.

I don't believe that any study exists that would concur that lifting a managable Sturgeon out of the water harms it when done properly. I would agree that if removed or released in a rough manner it could harm the fish.

They are very hardy fish and have been found years after floods on Sumas and/or Matsqui Prairie still alive.

If you treat them calmly like a baby and with respect .............. then I don't see anything wrong with lifting them out and taking a quick pic.


GOFISH 8)
 

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Just a vote for what Gofish said. If you think it's going to be a slide it over the side and up, then don't bother. And having a cradle in the boat to keep 'em wet and supported is best. Oh and yes you can hurt yourself, specially on the small ones, those little plates are sharp and can cut. Mind you I also found on one outing that stepping over the tail section of the cradle while the fish is laying in it, isn't a good idea either. One quick lift of the tail and I was seeing stars :eek:
 

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GOFISH said:
OUCH .......... Now that's gotta hurt. Bet those with you didn't know whether to laugh or ... :-X


GOFISH 8)
You kidding?? About the best you'd get from any of my fishing buddies would be "Sorry man, I can't help laughing!!" Good thing those razor sharp spines didn't get ya.
 

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Good call fishnfvr, gloves are a must. And I didn't get any sympathy. More just pointing and laughing, glad the bench seats were big enough to lay on :p
 

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eimaj said:
Good call fishnfvr, gloves are a must. And I didn't get any sympathy. More just pointing and laughing, glad the bench seats were big enough to lay on :p
Yeah well I wasnt even holding the fish - my husband had him in front of me with his gloves on and the sturgeons tail swung around and got me. If I was to hold one I would definitely have gloves on - as they are razor sharp.
 

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Since I don't think our member got the real answer to his question, I would like to offer the following:

If you are fishing with guides on the Fraser, most will take the time to explain the sturgeon's habitat, the tagging program and a bit of history on the conservation programs currently in place to protect the Dinasaurs of the mighty Fraser. They are very experienced with the lifting process as evident by the amount of recaptures in the tagging program.
If you are heading out, and a rookie fisher for these fish, I WOULD NOT TAKE THE FISH ABOARD, PERIOD!
I would get a good angle shot at the side of the boat with a hand near the fish for contrast, so it's size will be easily recognizable in the picture. The smaller fish (under 5 ft.) definitely need to be handled with care. They have razor blades along their spine for protection, as well as a small spike near the tail. If not handled properly, these fish can give you a nasty cut, that is bound to get infected.
The guides are very cognizant of how to lift properly and carefully place the fish in an on board, water filled sling, for the tagging and checking for previously tagged fish. Usually all people are involved in the lift and the fish is very carefully put back into the river head first, just as you would release a salmon.
If you are in a smaller boat...(say 15 feet or less) large fish can play just as much havoc in your boat as a halibut that is not happy being out of water!!! They will thrash around and likely injure themselves and others trying to subdue....All fish in the 7 ft. and larger catagory should be taken to the nearest safe beach for a few pictures in the water before release....These fish are often over a hundred years old and deserve our respect.....
Leave the hero shots to the pros, and be very careful with smaller sturgeon (especially the 2-3 footers)
I was once told, if they did not have their razor blades for protection, they quickly become dinner for other sturgeon! Hope this helps.......Ortho 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks to everyone who replied to my questions. Alot of good advice. I would especially like to thank Fishortho for his well written and very informative response. Not to lessen the quality of the other responses, but I think I will have to follow Fishortho's advice and leave the hero shots to the pros. I would rather not risk injury to myself or the fish. Cheers :cheers:

Rogue0412
 
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