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. John

    Evolution doesn't just happen once. It keeps going.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Phil, Ohio

    Wildlife fighting back!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. global warming conspiracy

    Like a sturgeon... jumppin for the very first time. Like a stuuurgeonnn... attackin boaters... I can't find a rhyme.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • funny

      That is funny stuff!!! ROTF

      June 1, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Nice one!

      June 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    well it is most have said we are now encroaching in their space and tis happens well they jump and they area very important as as they only go where the river water is good so they are a testament to the quality of the pollution control that we have to enact. Sturgeon used to be teaming in the Delaware but disappeared long ago. A few years ago a biologist on the Del caught and released a young sturgeon WHEW now lets get to cleaning up all of our other messes so we do not leave a polluted bedroom for the next generation. After all we all live on this great planet

    June 1, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bills Cat

    Sounds like the Darwin theory at work. Foolish people annoying nine-foot long, 300 lb. fish and thinking it's okay. Interfering with a 300 lb. anything never sounded like a good idea to me. Sure, it's all fun and games until somebody gets a broke leg!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. IT'SATRAP

    Now the 25-year old lady know how it feels to be like Mario.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. BonesMagoo

    I heard that al Qaeda has an inside man working on suicide sturgeon squads.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim F.

      The whole thing sounds kind of fishy to me . . .

      June 1, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ellis

    Leave me alone clown and Bob 2.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ian

    I hear the next Jack Link's Beef Jerky commercial will feature a sturgeon.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. countryboy

    She needs more milk please. http://WWW.CDBABY.COM/ALL/NUMONE bye now.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ellis

    Countryboy go milk a cow

    June 1, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. JIMIJONI

    Holy Mackerel !!!

    June 1, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. zigzag

    Next thing they'll grow wings and fly. Its evolution.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RT

    white fish can't jump

    June 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DogLover

    Call a surgeon, I have been hit by a sturgeon!

    June 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
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