Nick McCabe is developing a special relationship with a legend. Pig Nose, weighing in at over 700 pounds and 10 feet long—that’s “longer than a tall man, and wider around than a curbside mailbox,” as Atlas Obscura reported last year—is a sturgeon, the most famous resident of Fraser River, in British Columbia. Last year, McCabe, a local guide for River Monster Adventures, managed to catch the near-mythical fish after a two-hour struggle.
Now, he’s come face to face with the fish for a second time.
This year, it only took him an hour to land Pig Nose.
“I had a gut feeling it was him,” the guide told the CBC. “Just the time of year and how the fish was acting … but as we got it up to the shore I was like, ‘This guy looks pretty familiar.’”
Pig Nose is more than 80 years old and can be identified not only by his flattened, porcine nose, but by a microchip embedded in his body years ago.
A sturgeon can be any one of 27 different species of fish. They are among that class of creatures that are like dinosaurs living among us. Considered “primitive fish,” they first evolved all the way back in the Triassic period, and they haven’t changed much since. They can grow to be incredibly large; a European sturgeon caught in 1922 was 23 feet long, for instance, and an albino sturgeon caught in the Fraser River in 2015 was more than 11 feet long and weighed more than 1,000 pounds.
Pig Nose is distinguished as much by his distinctive nose and by his age as by his size. McCabe was glad to see the aging fish was still putting on weight, he told the CBC. Last year, Pig Nose weighed in around 650 pounds; this year he’s up to 700. May he live for many long years to come.