I may or may not be–among the few people alive to see the famous Lake Lida sturgeon “in the flesh,” after it was speared in December of 1948. The fish was displayed in the walk-in beer cooler of Perry Swenson’s night club, east of Pelican Rapids on County Road 4. The immense fish was later mounted and was a key attraction at Perry’s Supper Club for decades to come.
I was but five years old. My dad had heard the news of the big fish being taken from Lake Lida. Like many others, from miles around, he had to see it and he took me along. I can remember looking through and around the legs of many other onlookers who came to see the fish.
Strange how memories come and stay with us throughout the years.
Questions remain: Are fish like this still swimming in our lakes?
I can only say that I have heard from men I trust who have made their living from, and spent many hours on the water–who would not mistake what they have seen for something less than what it was.
Most of these sightings of unusually large fish were a number of years ago. But for a fish like the sturgeon, which can live to be a hundred or more years–who knows what still survives in our lakes!!
Editor’s note: Bob Bowers, a veteran fisherman, trapper, outdoorsman–and member of the “Pelican Pool Hall Gang” is among a small group of Pelican area volunteers who are working behind the scenes to bring a professionally-created model of the famous Lida sturgeon to Pelican Rapids. Details will be unveiled later this month in the Pelican Rapids Press.