Kane was fishing alongside his father with 3 pound test line when he hooked into the lake’s resident monster. Some 2 hours later, Kane and his father miraculously landed the fish, and were able to take it back to the dock to have it weighed and photographed.
Cuyamaca’s scale maxes out at 50 pounds, mostly utilized for weighing trout, bass and catfish, and has yet to see a fish too big to weigh. Kane’s fish easily maxed out the scale however according to Lake Ranger Butch Paddock, “we have a scale at the bait and tackle shop that goes up to 50 pounds, and this fish BURIED it. It took four of us using a blanket to get it up to the scales.”
They measured it to get a true documented measurement of its size, and it taped out at 62 inches long.
After the photographs and measurements, the giant white sturgeon was released back into the lake alive and well. Sturgeon are an incredibly hearty fish, and the whole ordeal of being caught, photographed, weighed and measured would have had no ill effects on such a tough fish. “The fish didn’t seem bothered a bit from all the commotion, it just sauntered off into the water as if it was just another day at the lake,” Paddock added.
While no official weight could be recorded, the fish easily eclipses the lake record for sturgeon at Cuyamaca, the only lake in San Diego County to house this species of fish. The previous record was caught by David Howard in June of 2007 and weighed 42.5 pounds.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ “Lake Sturgeon Length-Girth-Weight Relationship” chart, a 62″ sturgeon would weigh between 46 and 73 pounds, with an average weight of 62 pounds, depending on its girth.
A 62″ sturgeon is estimated to be around 37 years old. Sturgeon were introduced into Lake Cuyamaca (alongside smallmouth bass) in 1995 by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. They are not common catches, but encounters with them are not all that rare either at Cuyamaca.