Sturgeon Sampling

Connecting Ocean and River!

St. Marys Riverkeeper joined U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources for a beautiful day on the water. We were lucky and caught a beautiful Atlantic Sturgeon believed to be 2 years old. It was tagged, measured, had a fin clipped to determine genetics, and released.

Every May and June, US FWS run a population assessment in the St. Marys River as it is critical habitat for both the endangered Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon. Adult sturgeon live in Saltwater, return to their home rivers to spawn, and juveniles will leave the river when they turn 3 years old.

It is estimated that there are only 14 genetically distinct St. Marys River Atlantic Sturgeon left that are reproducing in the river and thanks to these sampling efforts, we are getting a better understanding of the health of this endangered species and the importance of protecting the river.

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