JORDAN, Minnesota — Two Twin Cities anglers have learned they now own a state record.
The DNR certified Darren Troseth and John Kimble’s catch as the longest catch and release lake sturgeon.
“The thought of catching a big fish through a hole ice is too much of a draw to keep us here on a Saturday night,” explained Kimble.
They captured the moment they captured the record-breaking fish on video.
“The head on that thing was just monstrous,” said Troseth.
They measured the sturgeon at 78 inches. The DNR says that’s not only the longest lake sturgeon caught on record, but the longest fish - period.
“It kind of validates some of the work we're doing, that we are seeing improvements in size structure of the fish that we have,” said Shannon Fisher, the DNR’s fisheries population monitoring and regulations manager.
Fisher says the fish Troseth and Kimble caught could be around 100 years old. Back when it was born, sturgeon were scarce.
“By the early 1900s the species had nearly vanished from Minnesota waters,” said Fisher.
He says sturgeon breed late and infrequently, which makes it hard for their population to recover. It’s taken decades.
“The sturgeon population today is certainly improving. If we didn’t feel it could sustain a catch and release fishery, we would not have advocated to open it,” said Fisher.
Around 2013 the DNR opened lake sturgeon fisheries.
“We’re seeing bigger and bigger fish caught,” said Kimble.
In fact, the DNR believes this exact fish may have been caught before. They got an application for a record for a 77-inch sturgeon in October, but they were unable to confirm it.
They say there’s no bad place along the St. Croix River to try to catch a big one.