Missouri Angler Lands Rare 50-Pound Lake Sturgeon

by TK Sanders
(Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

A lucky fisherman caught a beautiful lake sturgeon measuring over four feet long and weighing around 55 pounds in Missouri. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, angler Troy Staggs caught the rare and protected fish last week before releasing it back into the Lake of the Ozarks.

Staggs, who was looking for paddlefish at the time of the catch, weighed and measured, and the fish from his boat in order to report the sturgeon to the state of Missouri. He also snapped a few pictures of the estimated 30-year-old fish, as well.

Fox News reported on the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Facebook post detailing the situation. The MDC called it a “cool catch and release.”

“Paddlefish snagger Troy Staggs got a surprise when he inadvertently landed his second lake sturgeon from Lake of the Ozarks,” the department penned in its post.

“This was the sixth lake sturgeon reported from Lake of Ozark since 2016,” the post continued. “Instead of snagging the fish, [the man’s] fishing tackle wrapped around its tail! It took him 47 minutes to bring the fish to the boat, where he took a quick measurement, snapped a few pictures, and released the fish back into the lake.”

Missouri began stocking its lakes with sturgeon in the 1980s

The department then added some interesting facts about sturgeon, which are prehistoric “fossil” fish that are known worldwide for their caviar.

“Lake sturgeon can live to over 100 years old and reach over 200 pounds,” the post said. “They are Missouri’s longest lived animal and our second-largest fish. They become adults at around 25 years and move into tributary streams to spawn. This makes them more visible as the fish frequently spawn in shallow water.”

The post concluded with a reminder to release and report inadvertent sturgeon catches, including the phone number to call in case of incident.

“[Missouri] began stocking lake sturgeon in the 1980s and continues to stock them to help recover this state-endangered species. Lake sturgeon are protected in Missouri and should be released immediately after capture.”

A young boy caught a state-record sturgeon in Utah earlier this month, too

Protected sturgeon catches have made headlines across the nation recently, as a young 12-year-old angler just caught the state of Utah’s largest ever.

Young Tyler Grimshaw fought and landed the prehistoric species while fishing with his father, Lance, and local guide Joe Weisner. The massive fish measured nine feet, 11-inches, which put it among the largest fish ever caught and released in the state.

“Lance is actually a fishing guide on Flaming Gorge,” Weisner said. “So we kinda go back and forth. I’ll go up with him and fish for a couple days and vice versa. And Tyler has come down to fish with me numerous times. That kid has probably caught 100 sturgeon on his own by now, but he’s always looking for that bigger fish, you know.”

Even at just 12-years-old, Tyler never gave up the rod to ask for help during the extended battle with the massive sturgeon.

“Tyler sat on that rod and pumped that fish for 50 minutes. He wasn’t about to hand that rod over to nobody,” Weisner said. “The fish jumped a total of four times. It jumped once right next to the boat, maybe two feet away. It was terrifying.”