The Brown family of Chilliwack with one of the largest sturgeon caught so far this season on the Fraser at 10.2 feet.

The Brown family of Chilliwack with one of the largest sturgeon caught so far this season on the Fraser at 10.2 feet.

B.C. family recounts ‘experience of a lifetime’ catching huge sturgeon

It took them more than two hours to reel in the 10.2 ft white sturgeon that weighed 522 pounds

The pandemic may have cancelled vacation fishing plans for countless tourists, but one family managed to embark on a uniquely B.C. fishing adventure on the Fraser River.

“We had an amazing experience yesterday,” Ashley Brown recounts in an email, about the massive white sturgeon that she and her family of five caught, helped tag, and released.

With so many people’s travel and vacation plans being postponed, the Chilliwack family opted to make a day of catch-and-release sturgeon fishing on the mighty Fraser, and to support local business.

They ended up having the “experience of a lifetime” on July 17, Brown said when the family went out on the river with guide Brandon Wootton of Mainlanders Sportfishing.

It took more than two hours, and the sturgeon measured 10.2 feet, with a 4.2 foot girth, weighing 522 pounds.

“And we got to tag her!” Brown wrote.

The largest ever recorded locally was 11 feet four inches, and estimated to be more than 100 years old.

READ MORE: Mammoth sturgeon was one for the books

This was was the biggest and most spectacular fish of the season for the local guiding outfit.

“It’s crazy to think there are fish that big in the river in our backyard that still may have never been caught in their lifetime,” Brown said.

Brown said she appreciated the “supportive, knowledgeable and encouraging” approach that Wooton offered.

“We felt 100 per cent safe and comfortable out there and had the most memorable experience ever, right in our own backyard.”

The Fraser River Sturgeon acoustic tagging program started in 1999 by the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, to monitor and help make recommendations on habitat and sturgeon population restoration.

READ MORE: Side channels closed to help sturgeon habitat


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