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(NECN: Marnie Maclean) - A researcher at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine calls it a once-in-a-lifetime catch, a 7-foot sturgeon found in the Saco River on Wednesday.
The prehistoric fish was wiped out of this river and many others decades ago by overfishing. The species was prized for its size and caviar.
The Atlantic sturgeon is currently listed as threatened in the Gulf of Maine.
On Wednesday, a marine science professor and his students were out on the river hoping to catch one or two sturgeon for research.
They were stunned when they pulled up 33 fish, including the 7-foot monster, a record breaking fish for the Saco River and perhaps even Maine.
Dr. James Sulikowski says it's a great sign that conservation efforts are having an impact on the species and they are returning to Maine and clearly thriving in the Saco River.
After tagging some of the fish so they can follow them as they move through the river and back out into the ocean, all of them were released.