Iowa Public Television

 

Sturgeon making a comeback

posted on February 18, 2000


SPLISH-SPLASH ... THE FISH ARE BACK.

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FIFTY YEARS, THE ANCIENT PALLID STURGEON FISH ARE SPAWNING IN THE MISSOURI RIVER.

ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST SINCE 1990, THE YOUNG STURGEON WERE FOUND IN A SIDE CHANNEL OF THE RIVER. CONSERVATIONISTS ATTRIBUTE THE SPAWNING TO UNUSUAL RIVER FLOWS SINCE THE FLOODS OF 1993, WHICH HAVE KEPT RIVER LEVELS VERY HIGH.

THIS DISCOVERY COMES AT A TIME WHEN THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS IS REVIEWING PLANS TO DETERMINE FLOW LEVELS ON THE MISSOURI RIVER FOR NAVIGATION OF BARGE TRAFFIC.

THE PALLID STURGEON, A BOTTOM-DWELLING FISH WHICH CAN WEIGH AS MUCH AS 100 POUNDS, NOW NUMBERS AS LITTLE AS 300 BY SOME ESTIMATES. YOUNG STURGEON ARE BEING RAISED IN HATCHERIES TO RESTORE THE FISH POPULATION.


Tags: fish marine life Missouri River news rivers seafood