Fisherman catches rare sturgeon in South Knoxville river

Fisherman catches rare sturgeon in South Knoxville river

Posted:
Aaron Monday has been fishing on the French Broad River in South Knoxville since he was kid but his years of angling didn't prepare him for what he was about to reel in. Aaron Monday has been fishing on the French Broad River in South Knoxville since he was kid but his years of angling didn't prepare him for what he was about to reel in.
By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A local fisherman reeling in a whopper of a catch this weekend while out on the water. Aaron Monday caught a sturgeon at the French Broad River in South Knoxville. That waterway is one of three systems the TWRA has been using to restock sturgeons, with the other two being the Cherokee River and the Cumberland River system.

Due to habitat loss, unregulated commercial fishing and dam construction sturgeons have been rarely seen in the wild in East Tennessee since the 1960's so when one fisherman caught a sturgeon over the weekend, he was shocked.

Aaron Monday has been fishing on the French Broad River in South Knoxville since he was kid but his years of angling didn't prepare him for what he was about to reel in.

“I was sitting their reeling it up, reeling it up and it was just fighting me and it had my rod bent doubled,” said Monday.

Saturday he, his father and grandfather were fishing deep hoping to lure a catch fish but that wasn't the fish they had on the hook.

“He jumped up out of the water. I swear about that high about three foot and I like to jump up three foot myself,” said Monday.

Monday had caught a rare sturgeon. The fish was 19 pound 38 inches long. He took a picture of his father with the prehistoric fish.

“It means the world to me. This is probably going to be the best memory I have of me, my dad and my grandfather together. That's was the biggest fish I'd ever caught and the fact it was a rare fish that probably nobody's caught that's even better," said Monday.

According to the TWRA the sturgeon Monday caught is probably 12 to 15 years old.

Lake sturgeon are endangered but have been restocked across East Tennessee. Since 2000 almost 150,000 have been put in to Tennessee waterways.

“Since 2006 there's only been about less than 300 reported so it's pretty rare to catch one but it's getting more common due to the successful reintroduction effort,” said TWRA spokesperson Matthew Cameron.

According to the TWRA since 2006 less than 300 sturgeon catches have been reported.

Monday hopes to one day catch another.

“I hope so. I hope I catch many,” said Monday.

According to the TWRA Lake sturgeon are endangered in Tennessee and must be released. The TWRA asks if you do catch a sturgeon to report the catch to their office.

After taking the photo for bragging rights Aaron says he released the sturgeon back into the river.

 
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