A Hudson Valley photographer snapped a rare photo of an elusive monster fish that usually hides deep below the water.

Derek White was enjoying the beautiful weather this week with his puppy Ellie near the riverfront in Poughkeepsie when he stumbled across a terrifying sight. White says he usually lets his dog off of her leash around the beach on the riverfront near Shadows. Ellie was playing fetch in the water and enjoying some relief from the heatwave when she suddenly began barking frantically.

Concerned about what was happening, White went over and was hit by the smell of salt in the air. As he investigated further he was surprised by a gruesome sight. A "monster" of a fish had washed up on the shore.

Derek White/Good Time Film Co

This is no ordinary fish. It appears to be an elusive Hudson River sturgeon that can live up to 60 years and grow to enormous lengths. While this particular sturgeon does look enormous up close, it's just a baby compared to its relatives that are living deep below the water. Two years ago, researchers discovered a 14-foot sturgeon swimming near Poughkeepsie. The fish, weighing 800 pounds, is capable of laying up to eight million eggs at a time, so it's quite possible this is just one of many "monster fish" living right under our noses in the waters near Newburgh, Kingston and Beacon.

Derek White/Good Time Film Co

Sturgeons are prehistoric fish that have existed for more than 120 million years. Currently, they are in danger of becoming extinct, which would be a shame considering that they've been swimming around in this area since the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs ruled the Hudson Valley.

Seeing a sturgeon on the Hudson River is extremely rare, one was spotted in 2019 jumping out of the water. Eyewitnesses caught the spectacular sight on video and estimate that it's eight feet long -- twice the size of the one White saw washed up on the beach this week.

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