HANOVER (CBS) – Four young women made the catch of a lifetime while they were canoeing in the North River in Hanover.

They pulled in a six-foot sturgeon with their bare hands. The fish, according to experts at New England Aquarium, weighted about 75 pounds.

The women told WBZ-TV they first spotted the endangered fish struggling along the surface of the river and said it appeared to be dying. The women said the fish died on the canoe ride back to shore.

The women alerted the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and the Environmental Police.

Experts brought the giant sturgeon to the aquarium to learn more about it.

Sturgeons are not typically seen in that part of the river. New England Aquarium Spokesperson Tony LaCasse says the fact the Sturgeon was there could be a good sign about improving water quality.

According to NEAQ, the fish was an Atlantic Sturgeon, which are listed by the state of Massachusetts as an endangered species and are classified as an endangered species along much of the East Coast, as well as a threatened species north of Cape Cod.

Despite the rare nature of this fish, this was at least the second sighting this spring of an Atlantic sturgeon in waters that had not seen them in decades.

In February, a man spotted a four-foot sturgeon swimming in the Charles River dam near Charlestown.

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