NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) – The Connecticut Fish and Wildlife’s Long Island Sound Trawl Survey crew reeled in quite a big catch on Wednesday – a stingray that was more than 6 feet long, 5 feet wide and weighed an estimated 400 pounds.
Connecticut Fish and Wildlife officials said the marine animal is a roughtail stingray (Bathytosia centroura), which is known to be a gentle giant.
The roughtail stingrays are found along the Atlantic coast from New England to Florida, but it is relatively rare to spot them in Long Island Sound.
Officials said, all stingrays have a venomous spine in their tail but not to worry as they are not aggressive. The stingrays do not typically frequent shallow waters, where people wade and swim.
Connecticut wildlife officials said the stingray is pictured lying on its back, with its light-colored belly pointing upward.
After capturing the stingray, the crew quickly took measurements and snapped a photograph. The stingray was then released back into the water and the crew watched as it swam away.
Wildlife officials also caught another remarkable catch, a cobia (Rachycentron canadum). The cobia is a large predatory fish, that can reach 6 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds, according to Connecticut Fish and Wildlife.
The cobia can be found throughout the Atlantic Ocean but is most abundant south of the Chesapeake Bay.
Connecticut Fish and Wildlife officials said the species has become an increasingly common visitor to Long Island Sound, as climate change is causing the waters to warm.
The Connecticut Fish and Wildlife said the Long Island Sound Trawl Survey crew is one of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s best tools to document climate change.