Researchers from the University of New England’s Biddeford campus caught about 40 Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon in the Saco River last week, including a seven-foot Atlantic strain giant that Marine Sciences prof James Sulikowski estimated at 250 pounds.
The Atlantic sturgeon in Maine, as in many other areas, was thought to be nearly eradicated by about 1950, but Sulikowski said sturgeon have experienced a comeback since harvest has been banned. Improved water quality in the river is also likely part of the resurgence.
The researchers release the fish back into the river after tagging them and drawing blood.
The University of New England is also studying the shortnose sturgeon, which scientists first captured in the Saco in 2009.