Fishermen in north eastern China got a surprise catch when they turned up a Kaluga sturgeon, Huso dauricus, weighing in at 617kg.
Chen Li, the fisherman responsible for the catch claims the fish is the largest he’s ever seen.
A protected, critically endangered species in China, this monstrous predator that hunts on Salmon has been known to capsize fishing boats, and even drown fishermen. (The picture above shows a much smaller preserved specimen at the Khabarovsk Regional Lore Museum).
The maximum size for these fish is considered to be somewhere around 1,000kg, but some estimates suggest that fish of up to 1,500kg may exist, making them the largest freshwater fish in the world. Compared to the meager 200kg or so of Arapaima this fish is something of a leviathan.
Although protected, these fish are still sometimes poached for their valuable caviar, and the fish caught here was brimming with eggs — around 1.2 million of them.
However, in a pleasant twist of fate, rather than ending up being killed and eaten, she was instead carried to a local Sturgeon breeding station, where staff will collect roe and artificially inseminate to create young.
Any fry produced are released into the Heliongjang river, where the giant was caught.
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