Beachcombers were stunned to find a very large fish that had recently washed up in Kenmore along the Lake Washington shore.
“Sad, but also a reminder of the diversity of the fish we find in Lake Washington,” NOAA Research Fishery Biologist Jim Myers told KIRO 7.
Myers said the fish is an eight-foot-long female white sturgeon and is about 40 years old.
The prehistoric fish has a life cycle similar to a salmon and can live in fresh and salt water.
Myers says a dead one floats up every couple years. They tend to stay on the bottom of the lake, which is why people don’t see them very often.
Scientists don’t know why the sturgeon died, but the long hot summer may have been a factor.
Myers said they are taking tissue samples, allowing labs to analyze for toxicology and determine genetics.
They also opened this fish’s stomach and found local clams.
When researchers are finished with their tests, the fish’s carcass will be taken out to the lake and sunk.