In Knoxville, Tennessee, a 9-year-old boy named Coye Price just earned some major bragging rights after a successful mission to catch a bigger fish than his sister.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) reported on Facebook that Coye was on a family trip when he hooked a 79.8-pound sturgeon fish in 25 feet of water on Old Hickory Lake near Spencer Creek.
The big catch happened after his sister Caitlin caught a 39.8-pound striper and his other sister Farrah caught a 58-pound blue catfish. According to Bass Jack, sturgeon fish that weigh 80 pounds usually can be 20 years old – more than twice this boy’s age.
Sturgeon can grow up to eight feet long and are one of the largest, longest-living fish in Tennessee. TWRA reports that sturgeons, specifically in Tennessee, grow up to 300 pounds and can live up to 150 years.
According to Wikipedia, the largest sturgeon ever recorded was a beluga female captured in Europe in 1827 and weighed 3,463-pounds and was 24 feet long. That’s a river monster we’ll probably never see caught again.
Due to over-fishing, habitat loss, and the damming of rivers, the sturgeon population has dramatically declined. However, the state has been on a quest since 2000 to restore the population and has put over 220,000 sturgeon into the Cumberland River and the Tennessee River.
As for the sturgeon Coye caught, he took a few pictures with the fish then released it back into the water to live another day. Congratulations Coye on your monster catch!