Image via Rick Bellitti

Things you see in the Charles River: Duck Boats, driftwood, the occasional PBR can. Now, you can add ancient fish species to that list. While out for a walk along the River, local accountant Rick Bellitti spotted a giant, four-foot long creature swimming near the water’s surface. A hobbyist fisherman, Bellitti immediately knew he had stumbled upon a special creature. Experts have identified the fish as an ancient, endangered Atlantic sturgeon.

In an email to BostInno, Bellitti writes:

What I saw when I looked down into the locks on my walk was like nothing I had ever seen whether caught, photographed, in books, you name it. It had such a distinct look to it and it caught my attention. Observing it for a while was interesting because it was as if it was sunning itself, remaining at the surface and swimming back and forth very slowly. You don’t see fish behave like that. Granted, he was caught in the locks as they were sealed off at both ends but being able to see it so clearly, it was interesting to see it’s structure. First thing I thought was that it was prehistoric as it looked sort of like a floating/swimming dinosaur you would see in children’s books, etc. I have a 3-year-old daughter so I guess my imagination is a bit heightened again these days!

According to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the Charles River Watershed Association, an Atlantic sturgeon has never been spotted near the Charles River. Earlier this month, the Atlantic Sturgeon was deemed “endangered” in certain areas of the East Coast by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The Atlantic sturgeon is a pretty badass fish, if you ask me. They can grow up to 14 feet long, weigh up to 800 pounds and live as long as 60 years. Perhaps the Charles River could be featured on the next episode of River Monsters?

Check out photos the photos of the Atlantic sturgeon that Bellitti captured on his cell phone, and remember to keep your eyes peeled for these creatures next time you’re walking along the Esplanade.

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