Giant sturgeon caught opening day

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LAKE WINNEBAGO, Wis. (WLUK) -- A sturgeon harvested on opening day still has many spearer talking. The legendary fish is close to the state record, coming in at 85.5 inches and 171 pounds. The fish is estimated to be around 130 years old.

It's the twelfth-heaviest on record in the state. The man who took it said he knew from the start that the fish was hardly ordinary.

"It got right up near the surface, and the tail was out one side of the hole and the head was out the other. And that's when we knew it was big."

The DNR netted the very same fish during spawning survey assessments in 2004, and then again in 2012.

"It was almost a little bit sad," noted DNR sturgeon biologist Ryan Koenigs. "Because that fish, we've been talking about her a lot. The reason it was sad, is a lot of spearers look forward to know that fish was out there. And it had a chance to break the state record."

They believe that there are more like it out in the lake.