109-kg fish, age 100, caught in Detroit

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. sturgeon / ˈstɜr dʒən / (n.) – a very large fish that’s eaten as food

    We grilled the sturgeon that my grandfather caught in the lake.

  2. girth / gɜrθ / (n.) – the measurement around something, especially around the middle

    We measured the tree, and its girth was about three meters!

  3. roam / roʊm / (v.) – to move around or travel without a destination or plan in mind

    Animals on the farm are allowed to roam freely.

  4. life span / laɪf spæn / (n.) – the length of time a living being stays alive

    Some types of turtles have very long life spans. They can live for over a hundred years!

  5. bait / beɪt / (n.) – something used to attract animals so that they can be caught

    The fisherman used live worms as bait to catch fish.


Read the text below.

A 108.8-kilogram sturgeon that could be more than 100 years old was caught on April 22 in the Detroit River by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The “real life river monster” was nearly 2.1 meters long, the agency said April 28 on Facebook, where a photo of it was shared more than 24,000 times by late afternoon.

“Based on its girth and size, it is assumed to be a female and that she has been roaming our waters over 100 years. She was quickly released back into the river” after being weighed and measured, the Fish and Wildlife Service said.

The typical life span for a sturgeon is 55 years for a male and 70 to 100 years for a female, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

This fish was caught near Grosse Ile, south of Detroit, while a three-person crew was conducting an annual sturgeon study. Frozen round goby, a tasty snack for a sturgeon, was used as bait on a long line that was deep in the river.

It took about six minutes to get the fish into the boat with a net.

Lake sturgeon are listed as a threatened species in Michigan. All sturgeon caught in the Detroit River must be released. (AP)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Lake sturgeon are listed as a threatened species, so all sturgeon caught in the Detroit River must be released. Do you think it’s okay to catch and release threatened species, or should they be totally left alone? Why? Discuss.
  • In your country, what animals are threatened? Do you know about any initiatives to help them? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • The “real life river monster” was nearly 2.1 meters long and weighed almost 109 kilograms. What would you do if you caught a fish that size (ex. release it, eat it)? Why? Discuss.
  • The Fish and Wildlife Service assumes that the sturgeon has been roaming the Detroit River for over 100 years. How do you think the area around the river has changed since it was born (ex. more people, increased pollution)? Discuss.