Our partners from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) continued their river sweep for tagged fish in the upper study section last week. A river sweep is an attempt to search as much of the Missouri River as possible – from Gavins Point Dam to the mouth in St. Louis – for telemetery tagged pallid sturgeon. This type of effort gives researchers a snapshot of the distribution of pallids in the Lower Missouri River. NGPC crews perform much of the tracking above Kansas City, MO, while USGS crews generally track from Kansas City to the Mississippi River confluence. Last week crews found 24 fish in five days, while covering approximately 380 miles. The busiest day was Thursday, March 17 when they located 13 fish in an 80 mile section!
This week (March 21-25), a crew from the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center will travel upstream to attempt to recapture some of the 24 fish located during last week’s river sweep. Biologists will evaluate the reproductive condition of captured sturgeon to see if they are ready to spawn. Sturgeon with transmitters whose batteries are about to expire will have them surgically replaced.