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. sum1comn

    The reason for jumping is because the air boat creates friction when it moves on the surface of the water creating a small electrical shock which these fish are sensitive to.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Then why can they be observed jumping when there is no vessel in the area?

      June 1, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Cranky

      Dude, stop bringing logic and sense into it, this is CNN, dammit!

      June 1, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. PACO

    all i want is just one more oatmeal pie

    June 1, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ellis


    you are weaksauce, get a job. get a name, have a "chorizo". You are such a lame duck

    June 1, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ellis


    June 1, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    What the duck are you talking about Ellis?

    June 1, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ellis

    duck, what the duck, shut your hole

    June 1, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. dave

    Damm it Jim

    I'm a sturgeon

    Not a high jumper

    June 1, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • CnslrNachos

      So awesome

      June 1, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. boatvolt

    Sturgeon broke it, surgeon fixed it.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. a

    Sturgeon 6: Revenge of Sturgeon

    June 1, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. CSnSC

    Bad day, broken leg and caviar stained boat

    June 1, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. @#$%^&

    Did you dudes know that the finest caviar in the world comes from these creatures? They are supposed to be on the Endangered Species List by the way. They have been killed for their eggs (caviar) for centuries.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • coatah

      No they aren't.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  12. Clown

    Ellis, I am sad for you. It must be really lonely where you are. Trying to get attention from strangers, because nobody loves you must be hard. I can't imagine how awful it must be to have no other happiness in life than getting a stranger you will never meet annoyed at you. Wow, it's pitiful. The only thing worse is the unnamed person who feels he has to curse at you and continue to follow you. It is like watching two very sad lonely people locked in rooms on opposite sides of the country suffering from the same problem, yet the only way they can relate to each other is by fighting. Sad, ,very sad.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. CSnSC

    @cnn, why would u delete my comment that was not the least bit offensive to anyone ? Hate caviar ?

    June 1, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • knitpickin

      just moved to page 2 as more entries came in after yours

      Bad day, broken leg and caviar stained boat

      June 1, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. Pismire

    Giant Sturgeon vs. Megasawfish

    June 1, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. i heart ellis

    Lol, look, a clown!

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