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Jumping Sturgeon

Sturgeon Jumping near boaters on the Suwannee River

                                                                         Photo Fiona Sunquist ©

Gulf Sturgeon are big – a large one can be 8 feet long and weigh 200 lbs.  These giant, prehistoric fish spend the winter in the Gulf of Mexico and each spring they swim up Florida’s Suwannee River to spawn. No one knows why, but while they are in the river, sturgeon often leap out of the water. 

Sturgeon have presumably been jumping like this for a long time, but they have only recently become a river hazard - people are now colliding with them.  Boating activity on the Suwannee has increased significantly in the last few years and five people were injured this summer when they ran into leaping sturgeons while jet skiing or boating. Another man drowned when he fell off a boat that swerved to avoid running into one of these huge armored fish.

To see dozens of these spectacular fish jumping, spend an hour at the Rock Bluff Landing boat ramp where Gilchrist County Road 340 crosses the Suwannee River.  

Read an article in the New York Times about leaping Suwannee sturgeon.



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