Week in Review – Deer COVID and Record Sturgeon

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The Stories that Matter and the Fuel to your Bar Banter – Canadian Fishing and Hunting News from the Week of September 3rd, 2021

Although news has never been so abundant, finding relevant and reliable stories has never been more difficult. Thankfully, Fish’n Canada has you covered. From record sturgeon to deer COVID, here is everything you missed this week in the world of Canadian hunting and fishing!

1) Ex-NHL’er Lands Record Sturgeon on the Fraser River

Fishermen with sturgeon
Photo by Kevin Estrada /Sturgeon Slayers

Last Saturday, ex NHL goalie and Vezina Trophy winner, Pete Peeters, earned himself another spot in the history books when he landed himself the largest Sturgeon ever recorded in British Columbia.

Weighing in a whopping 890 pounds and measuring in at nearly 11 1/2 feet this Fraser River behemoth was caught and released just north of Chilliwack, British Columbia. A true once-in-a-lifetime moment, the team at Sturgeon Slayers knew they were in for something special as soon as the hook was set and the near 100-year-old fish first showed herself in the crystal clear water. “I couldn’t fathom how big these fish were,” said Peeters in an interview with the Vancouver Sun, “Even when the fish came up, it was hard to believe.”

Though this may have been the largest ever confirmed in these waters, the Fraser River and the team at Sturgeon Slayers are no stranger hockey world, with multiple other NHL players visiting their famed waters in the past with similar success.

Fishermen with sturgeon
Andrew Ladd with his 2019 Sturgeon (PHOTO BY MARK L. JOHNSON/LADD FOUNDATION)
Fishermen with sturgeon
Dustin Byfuglien and Matt Hendricks with a 2017 Sturgeon (via Sturgeon Slayers)

For the full story on the latest record, check out the link below!

2) Genetic Mapping Boosts Lake Trout Recovery Efforts

Lake Trout
Photo by Dean Taylor

Another week of progress on the Lake Trout front, as a team of Canadian and American researchers have successfully mapped the genetic makeup of the fish in hopes of improving their reintroduction efforts throughout North America.

This new genetic map will allow fisheries managers to identify exactly the characteristics that allowed the species to evolve and spread so successfully in the first place, as well as why certain populations thrive when stocked while others do not. The achievement is especially exciting for those in the Great Lakes region, where Lake Trout populations have been decimated by Lampreys and overfishing and have yet to fully recover.

Coupled with last week’s story of natural Lake Trout now breeding in Lake Erie, things are certainly looking up for this much-loved northern native. For the full story behind this scientific breakthrough, check out the link below.

3) Ohio Deer Catches COVID 19

White-tailed Deer

While it may not be Canadian, the looming deer season will surely have this next story on the radars of hunters across North America.

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, a White-tailed Deer has tested positive for COVID-19. Though deer have long been suspected as suitable hosts for the virus, as multiple roadkilled specimens have been found to have the antibodies, this is the first time, anywhere in the world, that a living deer has been confirmed to contract it in the wild.

How this deer came in contact with the virus is anyone’s guess, but human contact is plausible due to the high numbers of urban-dwelling deer in this state. Here’s to hoping Canada doesn’t see a mask mandate for deer hunters heading out this fall.

For more on this strange story, check out the link below:

4) New “Super-Male” Brook Trout are Saving the Alpine Lakes

Brook Trout in water
Photo by Dean Taylor

Another story from our neighbours to the south, a newly created subspecies of Brook Trout are being stocked in Idaho and are showing massive potential to solve an issue that has long plagued our western alpine lakes. This new, genetically modified fish was designed specifically to combat one of the most destructive species we see in our western waters. And that species is, well… Brook Trout. Yes, that’s right, this new trout is specially designed to combat the spread of its own species.

This new fish, known as the Super Male or Trojan Brook Trout, is set to achieve this goal thanks to a highly selective breeding system that has produced Brook Trout containing YY chromosomes. Without getting too deep into the biology, regular male fish (and humans) contain an X and a Y chromosome. This, when paired with the female’s XX, provide an equal likelihood of having offspring of either sex. With the Super-Male Brook Trout, however, this game is not left up to chance, as the YY chromosomes, when paired with the XX of the female, guarantee male offspring (XY). This slightly complex, yet extremely innovative system ensures that no new female offspring will be produced, skewing the sex ratio in the lake, and eventually fazing out the species altogether.

This alternative to poison is sure to see its uses in Canada in the near future as our western Cutthroat and Bull Trout are constantly being threatened by this beautiful, yet extremely invasive species. For more information on this new breed of Brook Trout, check out the link below.

5) Timmins Man Saves Sinking Moose

Moose in water

The last story of the week comes from Timmins, Ontario where a group of locals rescued a moose that was drowning in mud.

The rescue began last Wednesday when prospectors Maurice Valliere and Pat Greba received a call from their friends that a bull moose had gotten stuck in the mud on crown land, just north of town. After arriving at the site, it was clear that the situation for the moose was dire. “He was buried right up to his head … he was fighting, and fighting, and fighting just to keep his head out of the mud,” said Valliere in an interview with the CBC.

Seeing the extent of the moose’s predicament and unable to contact authorities, the men decided to take action. Working with what they had, the men carefully attached straps to the back of the bull’s antlers and attached them to an Argo ATV. Slowly leading it with the ATV, the moose was eventually able to regain its barrings, catch its breath, and run off into the woods – taking one strap and a pile of mud with it as souvenirs.

For the full story, check out the link below:

Have a story we missed? Send us an email at [email protected]

Dean Taylor

Dean Taylor is Fish’n Canada’s Digital Editor, Content Manager, and the Producer of Outdoor Journal Radio. Growing up in southern Ontario, Dean’s passion for fishing has taken him all over the continent – from fly fishing in BC to bass tournaments in Alabama to walleye guiding in northern Ontario. With past work seen in magazines such as Outdoor Canada, Dean now shares his unique experiences with the Fish’n Canada audience.

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