Beware: Jumping sturgeons return to Suwannee River

FWC photo by Tim Donovan
FWC photo by Tim Donovan

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Sturgeons are returning to the Suwannee River for the summer, Florida wildlife officials are warning.

These prehistoric-looking, sucker-mouthed Gulf sturgeon are swimming and jumping in the waters of their summer home. Some of that jumping has had serious consequences for a few boaters.

The Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission warns there there is no warning; sturgeon just jump, and if a boater happens to be in the way when the fish is in the air, a collision happens.

A 5-year-old north central Florida girl died last July after she was struck by a jumping sturgeon while boating on the Suwannee with her family.

Wildlife officers urge boaters to be prepared, go slow and wear life jackets.

Report sturgeon strikes to the FWC Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (FWCC).

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