Mystery of sturgeon found in Yorkshire canal

44aa2c9f-3b82-4a67-9cce-bece080b12bf

Editor's Picks
Features Post
The brightest pupils
04 October 2021
Features Post
Dealing with egg ‘fungus’
04 October 2021
Features Post
Rathbun’s tetra in the wild
13 September 2021
Fishkeeping News Post
Report: 2021 BKKS National Koi Show results
13 September 2021
Features Post
The World's forgotten fishes
16 August 2021


An 82cm/33" sturgeon has been found by an angler who was fishing at a canal in West Yorkshire.

Geoff Marsh saw the fish floating towards him at Stanley Ferry in Wakefield, as he was bringing in a carp he'd just caught.

He told Wakefield Express that at first he thought that the fish — which was clearly injured in some way — was a shark.

"It was on its way out, so I don’t know if a carp had got to it or if it had been hit by a boat," he said.

Experts from Liverpool University have confirmed that it was a species of sturgeon, adding that these fish live the majority of their adult life in the sea. They only migrate into rivers to spawn and the young grow up in freshwater before returning to the sea. The only remaining breeding site in Western Europe is in the Gironde River in France.

How it came to be in the water at Stanley Ferry is still a mystery, but experts say one possibility is that the recent heavy rain and floods caused a garden pond to overflow, so that the fish ended up in the canal.

Why not take out a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping magazine? See our latest subscription offer.