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Green Sturgeon stuffed into back of SUV rescued from alleged poacher in Tracy

The Green Sturgeon is a fish that falls under the Federal Endangered Species Act

CALIFORNIA, USA — A federally protected species of sturgeon is back in the water after being poached near Tracy.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) said the incident dates back to Nov. 12 when a suspected poacher pulled a Green Sturgeon from the Clifton Forebay near Tracy. 

Wildlife officials say an eagle-eyed angler spotted the poacher in the act and provided authorities with a photo of the suspect and license plate after calling into CDFW's tip line. 

Wildlife officers responded and used the license plate number to head to the suspect's home in Tracy. Not long afterward, the suspect pulled up to his home with officers waiting. Authorities say the officers found the sturgeon stuffed into the back of his SUV.

Realizing the sturgeon was still alive, they jumped at the chance to save it. They photographed it, issued a citation to the alleged poacher, and raced back to a boat ramp to get it in the water.

Authorities said it took about 90 minutes to revive the fish, but they were able to successfully release it.

The fish is estimated to be between 25 to 30 years old and is protected under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The suspect is being prosecuted by the San Joaquin County District Attorney's office. 


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