An Atlantic Sturgeon washed up on the shore of Folly Beach in South Carolina. Locals started to question the type of sea creature it was when the local TV station, Live 5 News posted a picture on Facebook.
Dr. Shane Boylan, a veterinarian at the South Carolina Aquarium saw the Sturgeon fish photos and quickly identified it as an Atlantic sturgeon. Boyland said the body shape and bone plates along the side gave it away. He said the strange colors are likely evidence of rotting, or what Boylan called a “necrotic tan.”
The Atlantic sturgeon is one of the oldest families of bony fish in existence. According to Wikipedia, the sturgeons are native to subtropical, temperate and sub-Arctic rivers, lakes and coastlines of Eurasia and North America.
Atlantic sturgeon species can grow to be as big as 15 feet long and 800 pounds, but are usually around 10 feet long and 300 pounds. Their bodies are covered in bony plates called scutes rather then scales, and they have barbels on their faces that help them locate prey, characteristics which give them their bizarre appearance. The fish can reach sixty years of age.
It’s a member of the Acipenseridae family and is among one of the oldest fish species in the world. You can find them from New Brunswick, Canada to the eastern coast of Florida. Finding the fish was easier when the first people came into America, but has since declined due to overfishing and water pollution. It is threatened to be endangered and even extinct in much of its original habitats.
According to TheBlaze, “some of the northern and Midwestern states are well-known for river and lake sturgeon fishing. Wisconsin, for example, has a strong sturgeon fishing season with times for both traditional fishing as well as spear fishing. The 2012 spear fishing season in Wisconsin wrapped up on Feb. 26. this year. In Winnebago, Wisc., according to the Department of Natural Resources, the 10 days allowed for winter spear fishing brings in about $3.5 million to the area. According to reports, this past season yielded fewer catches than the previous year.”