Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

April 29, 2014

Suwannee’s Sturgeon~

A Gulf Sturgeon jumping on the Suwannee River
Picture credit: Tim Ross

Just in case you don’t live in Florida and/or have never been to the beautiful and famous Suwannee River and seen this phenomenon in person, please take a look at one of the Youtube videos below.
It is an amazing and exciting spectacle to watch and see happen live.
This oddly beautiful fish looks and acts like few  others and seems almost mythical.
Each year about this time,  animals everywhere are in the mood for love and the Gulf Sturgeon are no exception to this Spring Ritual.
This annual trip each  year, from the warm waters of the Gulf,  North to the Suwannee River,  is  for this Sturgeon,  a return to their Ancestral home to spawn.
Once this is completed, they will return to the Gulf of Mexico for the remainder of the year.
There are,  of course,  signs to warn those new to the area, of the dangers that could be involved with this magical occurrence that they are about to witness.
Being out on a small boat in the river when the Sturgeon  do get active,  has proven hazardous in the past, when they can jump as high as seven feet in the air.
” The primeval Gulf Sturgeon, whose ancestral beginnings are older than Dinosaurs may date back as much as 200 million years, or about the same time as Sharks.”     From my Gator Woman  Gulf Sturgeon  page.
What make this Ancient fish so unique, is its primordial appearance,  its many  rows of armor or scutes and it is these bony plates,  combined with their average weight of about 40 pounds,  that are the primary reason why an actual  encounter with this quite large fish could and would be most painful.
Although this is considered to be the average, they can be as long as eight feet and weigh up to two hundred pounds, making this quite the fish to be reckoned with in any scenario~
Thankfully, there were no reported injuries to humans last year,  from human and fish collisions!
Experts say that recently things seem much calmer and quieter, but then, the season is just getting underway.
So, if a mini vacation or trip to the South is in your plans, why not come on up or down,  as the case may be and stroll around the Park grounds,  or float on a boat on the gorgeous Suwannee River.
Florida Gulf Sturgeon are, like so many of our most exquisite wildlife, a protected species.
This means that no one is allowed to catch  it or kill it!
Places to learn more:
Gulf Sturgeon
Gulf Sturgeon  ( An Excellent NOAA page)
Youtube Video of Jumping Sturgeon
Giant Jumping Fish Return to the Suwannee River
Jumping sturgeon return to north Florida river
Boaters Warned Of “Flying” Fish
Sturgeon returning to the Suwannee River

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