Rare sawfish caught and released in Matlacha

Posted at 1:13 PM, Mar 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 13:13:40-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A Southwest Florida fisherman is sharing photos of her encounter with an endangered fish.

Stephanie Beamish says she was fishing off the Sugarsand Beach Resort in Matlacha Wednesday morning when she hooked up with something large.  The fish put up a large fight and was revealed to be a sawfish about 5 feet long.

She says fishermen in a nearby boat came by to help untangle and release the fish.

Sawfish are a member of the ray family and considered listed as critically endangered.  They are most commonly seen in Southwest Florida.

Florida Fish and Wildlife urges anyone who spots a sawfish to report the sighting by calling (941) 255-7403 or contacting  Please include the date and time of the encounter, the location, the estimated length of each sawfish, the water depth, and any other relevant details.