Debunked: Giant Fish Photo Not From Bangor Waterfront
A photo recently posted to social media claiming this giant creature was seen in the Penobscot River near the Bangor waterfront had people in Bangor asking, "What is it?"
Plenty of people thought it was a hoax, going as far as saying it was Photoshopped or a creature from another part of the country. And, unfortunately, it turns out this particular photo is not from the Penobscot River. It's a 2016 photo from British Columbia. You can see that post below. Bubble bursted.
It was actually reported a few years ago that this same photo was being shared on social media with #KennebecRiver associated with it.
Most recently, many people chimed in on one particular Facebook post, that this is a creature often spotted in the area. It is a sturgeon fish and right now, the Northern Atlantic states have sturgeons spawning in the rivers, which is why it could be plausible to see this river beast in the Penobscot River.
Atlantic Sturgeons are seen along the coast in the Gulf of Maine and up rivers that connect directly with the ocean waters.
Here's one jumping out of the river in the Kennebec in Gardner in 2016:
Here one fished off the coast in Southern Maine in 2017:
Here's another one caught at Camp Ellis in Saco:
According to the NOAA, the Atlantic sturgeon in the Gulf of Maine are a threatened species due to population decrease, loss of environment quality and loss of spawning areas.
The agency has stated, however, that the removal of the Veazie Dam on the Penobscot River would allow for sturgeon to spawn in a historical spawning location for the species in Milford. So, with the dam removed in 2013, maybe these sightings won't be so rare here in Bangor and along the Southern portion of the Penobscot in the years to come.
Atlantic sturgeons can weigh up to 800 pounds, live up to 60 years and grow to a length of 14 feet. For more information on Atlantic Sturgeons, check out the NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Sturgeon page.