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7-foot-3, 240-pound Wis. sturgeon thought to be 125 years old

This April 10 2012 phoprovided by WisconsDepartment Natural Resources shows an over 7-foot 3-inch long 240-pound sturgeDepartment Natural Resources tagged

This April 10, 2012 photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shows an over 7-foot 3-inch long, 240-pound sturgeon the Department of Natural Resources tagged near Shawano, Wis. on the Wolf River on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. It's the largest ever tagged since officials started the tagging program in the 1950s. (AP Photo/Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)

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Updated: May 13, 2012 10:34AM

SHAWANO, Wis. — The state Department of Natural Resources has tagged a 125-year-old sturgeon that’s bigger than a linebacker and is the largest on record in Wisconsin.

Officials found the 7-foot-3-inch long, 240-pound female sturgeon in the Wolf River near Shawano on Tuesday, said DNR sturgeon biologist Ron Bruch. He estimated the fish was born around 1887, when Grover Cleveland was president.

“I knew they were out there and I thought, ‘We finally got one of these massive, nuclear submarine-type sturgeon,’” he said Wednesday.

He said the fish is the largest tagged and released in the Lake Winnebago system since the state started the tagging program, which is aimed at keeping tabs on their population, in 1950s.

At 240 pounds, she’s only 2 pounds heavier than Green Bay Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop. (The fish would have weighed about 30 pounds more, but had recently laid some eggs.) At 87.5 inches long, she’s 3Ω inches taller than former Milwaukee Bucks center Andrew Bogut.

The fish, which the state released back into the river after it was tagged, was also the largest ever captured in the state. The previous record — a sturgeon weighing 212.2 pounds and 84.2 inches long — was set in 2010 during the sturgeon spearing season.

Officials also tagged 565 fish on Tuesday, the most ever in one day. DNR officials tagged about 2,000 fish during this spawning season, above the average of about 1,200, Bruch said.


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