Shortnose sturgeon, the Atlantic sturgeon's cousin. Credit: Bridget Brown

Christine Wallace didn’t expect to be hit in the head by a “prehistoric” fish, but that’s what happened to her on the Kennebec River last month.

John Ware was leading a party boat full of family members down the Kennebec on the Fourth of July when a 5 ½-foot sturgeon leaped out of the water and right into Wallace. Wallace, who was sitting at the front of the boat, told News Center Maine that she saw a shadow and turned her head.

“It hit me in the back of the head and then flipped over me and landed on [sister-in-law] Patty [Demers],” Wallace said. “I felt something prehistoric … and I was like freaking out. I think I went like that and ran that way.”

Here is a few more pictures,

Posted by Lynda Demers Ware on Thursday, 5 July 2018

Ware and his brother-in-law Gui Demers ultimately lifted the fish out of the boat, which was estimated to weigh 185 pounds.

“It wouldn’t budge on the carpet,” Ware told News Center Maine. “Once it got closer to the water, I think it knew where it was headed, and it started to help.”

Nobody on the boat sustained any major injuries from the incident.

Atlantic sturgeon can grow up to 14 feet and weigh in at 800 pounds, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They span from Canada to Florida in rivers and the sea, and are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. It’s unclear why sturgeon leap into the air.

Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.