Old Town man injured by sturgeon on Suwannee River
May 11, 2012
An Old Town man was injured Friday when he collided with a
sturgeon that had jumped out of the Suwannee River in front of his
boat near Rock Bluff.
Christopher Jordan Marlo, 31, received
non-life-threatening injuries, according to Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators.
operating the 14-foot johnboat that belonged to his passenger, John
Garrett Cobb, 37, of Cross City. They were just south of Rock Bluff
near the County Road 340 bridge. The two had been fishing and were
headed back to the Gornto Springs boat ramp, where they had launched
at 7 a.m., according to FWC.
Investigators said the two were
traveling about 10 to 15 mph. when, at about 10:30 a.m., a sturgeon
jumped up in front of the vessel, striking Marlo.
man saw the fish. However, Cobb reported he saw something splash off
the right side of the boat and the boat turned hard to the right. He
looked back to see Marlo slumped over the left side of the vessel.
Cobb got Marlo back into the boat and went to the Rock Bluff boat
ramp, according to FWC investigators.
Marlo was transported
to Shands at the University of Florida in Gainesville by emergency
medical personnel. The sturgeon strike was reported to the FWC by
the Dixie County Sheriff's Office, and an investigation into the
"This is first sturgeon strike in 2012,"
said Maj. Roy Brown, regional commander of the FWC's North Central
Region. "And that's one too many."
"We certainly don't want
to scare anyone off the river," Brown explained.
The Suwannee is beautiful and we want folks to come out and enjoy
their trip. We just want to remind boaters the sturgeon are back in
the Suwannee and they are jumping."
In 2006, FWC officials
began working on a public awareness campaign to alert boaters to the
risks of jumping sturgeon.
"We have posted signs at each
boat ramp along the Suwannee, explaining the risk of impacts with
these fish, and we have just recently posted larger signs, warning
of jumping sturgeon, along the river," Brown said. "Our officers
increase their water patrol efforts during the summer months in a
continued effort to educate boaters about boating safety and
Fair Use Notice: This document may contain copyrighted material
whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. We believe
that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes
a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section
107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted
material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must
obtain permission from the copyright owner.