Giant Sturgeon photograph

G-07274/ HP020090
photographic print

This enormous sturgeon was probably well over 100 years old when it was caught in the Fraser River in 1897, and would have weighed as much as 1,000 lbs. It is representative of the huge abundance of life in British Columbia at the time, and the European attitude to the natural resources here.

The Fraser River white sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish species in North America. Sturgeon were fished commercially from the 1880s for their flesh, but by the beginning of the 20th century the population began to show a serious decline. Today, while limited sports fishing of sturgeon in the Fraser is still permitted, it is strictly “catch and release”.

The photograph, taken by Charles Bradbury, is visually very arresting, but surprisingly similar to the photographs fishermen still take of their trophy catches. It was acquired by the BC Archives in the 1940s.

This object selected by Ann ten Cate. View Profile »