Fishermen out on the Fraser River near Yale, B.C., reeled in a rather rare surprise on Tuesday.
A pair of anglers from Ukraine, along with their guide Jay Grant from Fraser River Lodge, caught a nearly eight-foot albino sturgeon.
It’s only the third albino sturgeon ever reeled in by the lodge's guides in 24 years, and to add to that legend, the exact same fish was caught by guides two years ago.
“I was shocked, catching an albino sturgeon is extremely rare and catching the same one twice is basically unheard of,” said Frank Staiger, owner of Fraser River Lodge.
“We digitally scan every sturgeon we reel in and if it’s the first time catching that particular fish we place a microchip in it.”
The information collected from scanning the sturgeon is forwarded to the Sturgeon Conservation Society who use the data for research purposes.
When guides first caught the sturgeon in 2017 it measured 232 centimetres long, the second time around the fish had grown even longer, measuring in at 240 cms.
According to Staiger, the sturgeon's large nostrils show the fish is not indigenous to the area, whereas native sturgeons tend to have a "shovel nose" that's used to dig into the riverbed.
Staiger believe this particular sturgeon comes back to the Fraser Canyon, sitting roughly roughly 173 kilometres from the mouth of the Fraser River, to feed on salmon each year.
The albino sturgeon is not the first rare catch along the mighty Fraser this yseason.
In June, anglers near Chilliwack reeled in a monstrous 11-foot, 800-pound sturgeon that guides called "top of the pyramid" when it comes to sheer size.
"I've caught 15,000 sturgeon during my 20-year career and this is only the second that exceeded 11 feet," said guide Steve Kaye.
"The general catch is between five and a half and seven feet long, last year we caught 115 sturgeons between eight and 10 feet."