TOPEKA (KSNT) – It’s not every day that you catch a truly rare fish in Kansas.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks confirmed that angler Kevin Zirjacks landed a lake sturgeon. This fish is so rare that KDWP biologists have only recorded 15 other lake sturgeon captures over the past 25 years.
The KDWP was contacted by Zirjacks to confirm the catch.
Thanks for the identification confirmation! I knew I had a special fish once I landed this fish. Never thought I would ever see one of these dinosaurs, let alone be able to actually hold one. Definitely a catch I will remember for the rest of my life!Kevin Zirjacks Facebook statement
Lake sturgeon used to have a wide range which included the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes Basin, Lake Champlain, Hudson Bay, and Mississippi River basin from Minnesota to Louisiana, including the Missouri River upstream to South Dakota. The fish is becoming harder to find in the southern part of its range due to several factors such as Missouri River drainage and pollution, according to the KDWP.
Lake sturgeon are noteworthy for their long life spans, with the maximum age reportedly 152 years, and for their rows of bony plates giving them the look of an “armored torpedo,” according to National Geographic. They are considered an endangered species in the state of Missouri.