Missouri angler reels in “rare and endangered” lake sturgeon fish at Lake of the Ozarks, releases back into the lake


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On Wednesday, April 20, Paddlefish snagger Troy Staggs landed a 50-pound paddlefish at the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri. Staggs took a quick measurement, snapped a few pictures, and released the fish back into the lake. This was the sixth lake sturgeon reported from Lake of the Ozarks since 2016.

In a Facebook post, the Missouri Department of Conservation congratulated Troy Staggs on his feat.

COOL CATCH AND RELEASE: Paddlefish snagger Troy Staggs got a surprise when he inadvertently landed his second lake sturgeon from Lake of the Ozarks. It was 56 inches long, weighed 50–55 pounds, and is around 30 years old. Instead of snagging the fish, his fishing tackle wrapped around its tail! It took him 47 minutes to bring the fish to the boat, where he took a quick measurement, snapped a few pictures, and released the fish back into the lake.

Lake sturgeon can live to be 150 years old and grow to 300 pounds. They are Missouri’s longest-lived animal and considered the state’s second-largest fish. Sturgeon evolved during the Jurassic era and have thrived for 150 million years.

MDC advises the public to report any lake sturgeon captures or sightings to local conservation agents or by calling the lake sturgeon recovery leader at 573-248-2530.

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