British Columbia’s Fraser River is one of the most famous places in the world to catch oversize, anadromous white sturgeon. And on March 6, longtime river guide Yves Bisson led angler Dan Lallier of Alberta, Canada to an estimated 600-pound white sturgeon on the Fraser. Visson posted a video of the sturgeon to TikTok, where it’s since racked up nearly 39 million views since March 9.
@yvesbissonsturgeonco One of the largest I’ve ever seen 🐟 #giant #fish #monster #sturgeon #unbelievable #lovetofish #fyp #fishwithyves #bucketlist #fraserriver #guidelife ♬ Forever – Labrinth
“After jumping out of the water two times during the fight we all looked at each other in disbelief at the enormous size,” Bisson told USA Today. “We knew it was something special. This was one I’ll never forget.”
Bisson says he’s guided for 20 years and has landed roughly 22,000 sturgeon during that time. The measured 10.5-footer, estimated at 600 pounds, is the second largest a client has caught during Bisson’s lengthy fishing career. Angler Lallier said he was “shocked, surprised, excited, amazed and scared.”
In the video, the fish is shown in clear, shallow water prior to release. While the sturgeon is not shown swimming away, Bisson says the release went well.
“This giant fish swam away after being released, which the video didn’t show, and I’m sure it will live for another 100 years,” said Bisson. “They are the strongest freshwater fish in the world and the mortality rate for angling is 0.012 percent, so basically they never die, and our world-renown tagging program has the data to back all this.”
Bisson tagged and released the sturgeon and was amazed the fish had not been tagged previously. Considering its size, old age, and the active sturgeon tagging program in the river, landing one like Bisson’s with no tag was curious.
Bisson is one of 60 volunteers of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, many of them fishing guides. Collectively they’ve tagged nearly 70,000 sturgeon to learn more about the species. White sturgeon are an endangered species under Canadian law. While catch-and-release fishing for them is lawful, harvesting a white sturgeon from the Fraser is illegal. The white sturgeon is one of about 30 world sturgeon species, of which half are endangered.