Sturgeon netted in the Lower James

Discussion in 'VIRGINIA RIVERS TALK' started by jeremiad, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. jeremiad

    jeremiad Well-Known Member

    I found this interesting article in the latest VGDIF Outdoor Report:

    We've all seen the cheesy pirate maps where the unknown spots are marked with "there be dragons!" Well, perhaps someone should put that symbol on a map of the James. On September 18th two ichthyologists, Chris Hager and Matt Balazik, netted a 9-foot sturgeon in the James near Hopewell. For those of you who don't know what a sturgeon is, one marine biologist has described it as "a living, breathing dragon." They are indeed imposing fish - capable of growing up to 14 feet long, with a fierce snout and lots of dorsal plates. They are also long-lived creatures, with the biologists figuring that the one that was briefly caught was about 30 years old. He (or she) was just a youngster, the oldest recorded specimen was 60 years old. Sturgeon are anadromous, living both in fresh and saltwater at different times of the year. Overfishing and pollution almost caused the fish to be wiped out, but a few are still around. So beware, fishers of the James, a dragon may be on the other end of your line!
  2. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Lynchburg, VA
    It looks like the sturgeon are making a comeback in the James. There have been alot of reports recently from the local guys who fish the river of hearing HUGE splashes around them at night, and even daytime sightings of these air sturgeon. Almost all reports are from just upriver of the Benjamin Harrison bridge to Presquille. Heard the DGIF also found a couple "smaller" sturgeon estimated at 5-7ft that were killed by props in that same stretch of river.