We were studying the return of sturgeon to a small river where a dam had been taken out, allowing them to come back to waters they had not seen in nearly a century.
So how do you run down large, uncooperative fish in rapidly moving water?
One method involves spotting them in the shallows, setting a net and driving them into it.
This does not look like ideal canoe safety, but life vests were worn by all hands and the water was not deep. Plus, hey, Science.
The fish were not behaving, which is only to be expected. On a day of intermittent cloud cover we lacked the proper light conditions to visually track them and nudge them netwards. Also, frustratingly we had three big ones just barge right through the nets. Back up plan?
Line fishing the deep holes where sturgeon hang out. Three Angling Adepts, and myself, attempting to catch a specific and very suspicious species.
Of course much fun was had catching all sorts of other things. Given the bottom fishing tactics employed this was "Trash Fishing for Science".
This I'm told is a Golden Redhorse. One of an assortment of similar fish generically referred to as suckers. Granted, it looks dim witted but they are a marker for clean water quality. Along with a half dozen other species we encountered all the weights and lengths were recorded for future study.
How ironic that with this level of fishing expertise on display the only sturgeon actually brought in that day was by yours truly, a retired duffer who many years does not even wet a line.
By sturgeon standards this is a small scrawny adolescent. We saw multiple fish three times this size but were unable to corral them. Still for research purposes this is first rate. You want to radio tag them young. Female sturgeon can live up to 150 years so in theory this one will be studied long, long after this crew of Science Fishermen has gone around that final bend in the river.