Angler reels in rare endangered fish that is ‘older than the dinosaurs’

An angler was astonished after reeling in an extremely rare species of fish that is older than the dinosaurs.

Kevin Zirjacks landed an endangered lake sturgeon from the Kansas River in Kansas, USA.

It was only the 16th reported catch of a lake sturgeon in Kansas for over 25 years, according to the state's Department of Wildlife and Parks.

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Sharing an image of Zirjacks on Facebook, the department wrote: "Check out this rare, super cool capture by an angler on the Kansas River! This large fish is a Lake Sturgeon, and they're pretty unusual to find!

"Prior to this capture, our KDWP survey biologists have only recorded 15 other Lake Sturgeon captures over the last 25+ years.

"We'd like to congratulate Kevin Zirjacks on this incredibly rare capture!"

Zirjacks said in response to the post: "I knew I had a special fish once I landed this fish.

"Never thought I would ever see one of these dinosaurs, let alone be able to actually hold one. Definitely a catch I will remember for the rest of my life."

Lake sturgeon are a distant relative of sharks and can live to be 100-years-old.

The bottom feeders have been in North American water systems for millions of years, with the first recorded fossil dating back 135million years ago – making them the old species native to the Great Lakes.

That is roughly 70million years before the last dinosaurs went extinct.

Lake sturgeon can grow to up to 7.25ft (2.2m) long and can weigh 240lbs (109kg).

They are considered endangered in some parts of America due to overfishing in the 1800s and 1900s.

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