Recreation Cool Kids

WHAT A CATCH! Local 10-Year-Old Snags Monster Sturgeon

don’t worry: the 5-foot, 6-inch fish was released after posing for photos

Rebecca Mennecke |

Ten-year-old Christian Severud (he’s in the center of the photo) has had a goal since he moved to Eau Claire: to reel in a big fish.

And, on May 24, he did. Big time.

While fishing with his grandparents at Phoenix Park in Eau Claire, he caught a 5-foot-6-inch sturgeon, fighting it for 45 minutes before reeling it in with his dad, who rushed from choir practice with CollECtive Choir to help him with the catch.

“The boys nearby (Ezekiel Esparza and Landon Lee) had to help, and my mother-in-law messaged my husband, Craig, so Craig left choir, came to Phoenix Park, ran into the water and grabbed the fish, carried it up to the boys to hold, took pictures and measurements, removed two other hooks and a bunch of fishing line and a lamprey that the fish had on it, and released it back into the river,” said Christian’s mom, Shannon, in an email. “Christian was so excited!”

The fourth-grader has been fishing with his grandparents since his family moved to Eau Claire almost two years ago. After looking up a little bit about sturgeons online, the family estimates the fish to be about 70 years old – seven times as old as Christian, and about as old as Christian’s grandparents!

Christian celebrated his catch with a brief moment of fame, appearing on news stations WQOW and WEAU, but he plans to keep fishing in the future.

And who knows? When he turns 11, he might just be lucky enough to catch a 77-year-old sturgeon.