A Sturgeon Warning


An Ancient Gulf Sturgeon
Photo credit: USFWS


This will be quite brief/abrupt and to the point.

We had an unnecessary tragedy here over the Holiday weekend.

A 5-year-old child was killed by a Gulf Sturgeon jumping into the boat she and her family were in.

It happened on the Suwannee River near Tallahassee in the Florida Panhandle.

For those of you who have been here for a while, you are probably aware of my personal website:


I only mention it because for quite a few years now, I have been writing about the possibility of this very event happening and warning people about it:


There are signs in the area that tell those who wish to go out on the River about the Gulf  Sturgeon and the potential dangers that exist there.

Either these people were not from the area, or perhaps may not have seen the Warning signs.

Regardless, a child is gone and her mother and brother are in the hospital.

This is a VERY BIG fish and when and if, it lands in your boat, or God forbid on you, the result will most certainly be tragic, as it was in this case.

Please take a look at the Sturgeon page above, if you are thinking of boating in this most beautiful place.

This is the time when the fish are most active and as our local news pointed out, the River was low, making it even more likely  to occur.

My prayers are with this family, my hope is that this never has to happen again.

Please, please, stay safe whenever you are visiting, vacationing, or just out with your family having fun in a new area.

When ever you are in a new or unfamiliar place, always do ask questions of those who are there to protect you,  or those who may already be there,  about local safety precautions.

Even one child is too many to lose to such a terrible accident.

This Ancient Fish has no idea that he can harm us, he is just doing what he and his Ancestors have always done on the Suwannee River.


Places to learn more:

Leaping Sturgeon strikes 5-year-old on Suwannee River killing Florida toddler

Girl killed by sturgeon jumping while boating: Not isolated incident in Florida

Leaping sturgeon kills child in Florida

FWC: Girl, 5, killed after being struck by jumping sturgeon in boat

Jaylon Rippy 5, dead, Colleen Harvey, 42, 9-year-old child injured when sturgeon jumps into boat on the Suwannee River in Lake City, Florida



27 thoughts on “A Sturgeon Warning

  1. I would never have thought sturgeon jump out of water. Those are big fish and the danger from colliding with one is real. Here in MN, though, I have not heard of sturgeon jumping from the water although I suppose they have but with less terrible outcomes.

  2. GREAT post and warning… These are amazing, ancient creatures — but they can be ENORMOUS! And those teeth! Downright primeval. I’ve only gone canoeing once or twice, and one of those times (can you guess it was the first time? Yep.)… A giant, thrashing sturgeon flew into the canoe. I mean… he was as large as the entire canoe. Fortunately I was with someone who could help get the poor guy back into the river (this was south of you). But they’re powerful creatures. WOW.

    • Thank you so much my little tree hugger for sharing this.
      Now everyone can see just how important knowing your surroundings really is.
      What you know truly can save your life.
      Yikes, so very, very glad you were not hurt.
      The world could cease to exist without you here to speak up for the wild things!!!!!!

      • Awww, you’re incredible, kind, and SO much a spokesperson for the natural world. Thank YOU!

        It really is, as you say, imperative to be aware of one’s surroundings and life. Creatures are just being creatures… living as they do. It’s up to US to respect and work with that simple fact, given their disappearing worlds (at our hands).

      • As a child, my leg was clawed by a relative’s pet raccoon, but my mother thought it was going to hurt me. She picked me up and swung me around causing it to cling to my leg for its life. To this day, they are one of my very favorite animals. The raccoon did not mean to hurt me. It was just frightened.

      • HAH what a STORY! Raccoons really are quite sweet, incredibly intelligent animals… Any show like you witnessed arose from sheer fear on the poor creature’s part, of course! They do have sharp claws though — I bet it left you with some nice scars!

        p.s. I just read an article about how raccoons can remember MEMORY TESTS given to them… 5 years later! Just amazing.

  3. “. . .for quite a few years now, I have been writing about the possibility of this very event happening and warning people about it”

    Don’t you just hate being right all the time?

    On one of those links you ‘get’ to see the little girl’s beaming face. Argh!!

    — I am not trying to make light of this tragedy, I am just imagining how frustrating it must be for you to see the potential of this calamity happening, — and writing about it . . . and THEN it happening.

    SUCH a sad story.

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