Vancouver – An ancient fish recently caught in BC’s Fraser River is being described as an “extremely rare” catch.

A group guided by Fraser River Lodge staff managed to catch and reel a 3.5-metre-long, or 11.5-foot-long, white sturgeon in a field near Agassiz.

A representative for the lodge told Granthshala News that the fish measured around 56 inches, and weighed more than 800 pounds.

“Catches like these are extremely rare and it’s always exciting to be a part of,” Kate Wisse said in an email on Tuesday.

She said the fish had never been tagged before, so it may have been the first time it was caught. Its age is not known, but he estimated it to be over 100 years old, given its size.

It took more than an hour to land the “Monster Sturgeon”, Wisse said, in part because the trio maneuvered around bridge poles and an island while the boat hit parts of submerged trees.

When the fish was finally brought in, it was measured, scanned, tagged and released. Guides at the lodge monitor the sturgeon, making sure it is ready for release, Wisse said.

According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, white sturgeon are the largest freshwater fish in Canada, and they have remained relatively unchanged for millions of years.

In severe state of decline in parts of BC, bottom-feeding fish is among the wildlife protected under species at risk act. The species living in the Nechaco River, Upper Columbia River, Upper Fraser River and Upper Kootenay River are all protected by the federal act.

Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society The white sturgeon is said to live for more than 150 years, and can grow up to six meters in length.