Jumping fish breaks boater's leg
The Gulf sturgeon migrates from saltwater to freshwater rivers to spawn.
June 1st, 2011
07:47 AM ET

Jumping fish breaks boater's leg

The sturgeon are jumping on Florida's Suwannee River and boaters beware.

A 60- to 75-pound sturgeon broke the leg of a 25-year-old woman when it jumped from the Suwanee on Sunday afternoon, the fifth time this year a jumping sturgeon has injured a boater, according to a report in The Gainesville Sun.

Tina Fletcher was a passenger on an airboat when the fish struck her, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials told the Sun. No one else was injured, according to the report.

Southwest Florida Online reports there have been four other incidents of sturgeon hitting boats and boaters this year, with two people suffering minor injuries.

The Gulf sturgeon can grow up to 9 feet long and weigh as much as 300 pounds, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The fish migrates from saltwater into freshwater rivers to spawn and spend the warm months, according to the agency.

But no one knows why they jump, Southwest Florida Online reports.

"I have seen these encounters referred to as 'attacks,' " Allen Martin, a regional freshwater fisheries biologist, told Southwest Florida Online. "However, these fish are in no way attacking when they jump. They are simply doing what they have been doing for millions of years: jumping."

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Filed under: Animals • Fish • Florida
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. SHAUNA

    THAT IS A BIG OL FISH! wowza if that jumped at me id abandon the boat :o)

    June 1, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • inyourface73

      ... and you would be sturgeon bait. good move genious

      June 1, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • global warming conspiracy

      @ inyourface... when you slam someone else's lack of intelligence... be sure to use spellcheck: GENIUS

      June 1, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • g

      sturgeons don't eat people, they are bottom feeders.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. sandyk

    @Dave that was funny!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. Xerxes 2010

    1 word: IDIOT!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • ThaGerGerm

      I guess technically you are right, Xerxes 2010 is only one word.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. CSnSC

    Thanks, im new to this

    June 1, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. Paul

    Between the jumping sturgeon and jumping Asian carp, is this the Revenge of the Fish? Do they despise us for walking out of the sea millions of years ago?

    June 1, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  6. remy730

    Damn nature, you scary!!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • rabo12

      hahahahaha. Great reference

      June 1, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Kweso

    The hunter becomes the hunted. Imagine a sturgeon feeding on human flesh. UMM..... tastes just like chicken!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. Aubrie

    sharks..... sting rays.... and now sturgeon????

    June 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. me

    they should hunt down that murderous fish and bring it to justice!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sidewinder

    Bad fish! Bad!!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  11. Patrish

    Common sense – there are big, and jumping so if you are going out on the water, and you're in their arena, so don't whine if you get hurt! Still I'm sorry about the lady's leg.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Quincey9

    I think you're gonna need a bigger boat.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dog years

    the problem is with the air boat, explain please what is an airboat and at what speed it was going, I am sure the fish jumped from being scared of the boat. we should burn less gas and go slower on the water

    June 1, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • thomas

      It's a flat bottom boat with an airplane propeller mounted in the back, you steer it with two big rudders behind the propeller, and it's about the only craft that can navigate the marsh and weeds, mud and water of southern Florida. Your idea of traditional paddle craft like kayaks and canoe's won't work very well.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • dixie girl

      About 5 mph, not fast like everyone assumes!!!!

      July 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Operaman

    The fish borke her leg? What broke her leg was the boat travelling at a high rate of speed. The fish jumped up and got in the way.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • dixie girl

      Yes the fish broke her leg! And actually they were only going about 5 mph, not fast at all!!

      July 7, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Philip

    The fish should at least be eaten.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Alatreon

      nah, sturgeon aint that good...

      June 2, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
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