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Fish and Game relocates sturgeon trapped in canal

Crews used a sling to lift the fish out of the water after it became stuck below Milner Dam.

RUPERT, Idaho — A seven-foot sturgeon was relocated after it became trapped below Milner Dam west of Twin Falls.

The monster fish - which spent the winter in the canal, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game -  surprised a fisherman who had headed to the area hoping to reel in rainbow trout. 

The angler contacted Fish and Game, who sent a team of fishery biologists and enforcement officers from the Magic Valley Region to see if they could get the sturgeon to roomier waters. 

"While moving individual fish is not the norm, moving a long-lived fish, like a sturgeon, is worthy of special efforts since this fish can provide angling opportunity for potentially decades to come," Fish and Game wrote in a press release. 

The crew was able to capture the sturgeon and use a sling to lift it out of the water and into a large transport box. The creature was then driven to Lake Walcott, fitted with a PIT tag that will identify it if recaptured, and released into the water. 

Biologists took a small fin clip of the sturgeon for genetic analysis and measured its total length and girth before letting it go. 

Sturgeon, which are native to Idaho rivers, can live past 100 and grow to a size of more than 1,500 pounds. For more information about the species, click here.

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