BIDDEFORD, Maine (NECN) -- A fishing trip on the Saco River ended with a record-breaking catch Wednesday. A research team from the University of New England was hoping to land a sturgeon or two for research -- but even they were amazed by what showed up in the net.
They caught a seven foot, one inch sturgeon. Dr. James Sulikowski, a marine sciences professor and icthiologist....or fish expert, says he was stunned when they pulled it out of the water on Wednesday afternoon.
Atlantic Sturgeon are a threatened species in the gulfof Maine.
Once abundant in Maine waters, it was prized for its meat and caviar and by the early 1900's they were all fished out.Now federally protected, researchers say conservation efforts appear to be working for the Atlantic Sturgeon.
It's an endangered fish nationwide, and disappeared from the Saco River for decades. Back in 2007 they found one...on Wednesday they caught 33. Whether they are back to feed or reproduce or both is still in question.
Some of the fish have been tagged and the team will follow their movements as they travel through the river and back into the ocean. After providing this team with plenty of excitement and research opportunities it was time for this once in a lifetime catch to be released.