Day old sturgeon caught in Lower Missouri River

Collected in the Lower Missouri River, this sturgeon larvae is estimated to be about one day old.

Biologists sampled a suspected pallid sturgeon spawning site approximately 4 miles up the James River from its confluence with the Missouri River in South Dakota on May 12 and 13.  Two days of sampling resulted in the collection of 84 larval paddlefish, but no Scaphirhynchus (pallid sturgeon or shovelnose sturgeon) larvae.  These paddlefish larvae were 7-9 millimeters (mm) long and estimated to be 1 day old.  While unable to completely disguise his disappointment, USGS Ecologist Aaron DeLonay commented positively, “Well, paddlefish spawn in the James River.  I guess we nailed that.”

Biologists sampled a suspected spawning site for larval sturgeon near Arrow Rock, Missouri, on the outside bend parallel to Lisbon Chute from May 20-24.  One Scaphirynchus larva was collected at river mile 215.9 in 14.8°C (58.6°F) water on May 20.  The larval sturgeon was 10.36 mm long and estimated to be a day old.  Eight paddlefish larvae were also caught on this bend.  These paddlefish were bigger than those caught in the James River (14-16mm) and estimated to be at least 5 days old.

USGS employee Amy George uses a microscope and imaging software to measure larval Acipenseriformes collected in the Missouri River.

About Emily Pherigo

Emily is no longer with the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project. When she was here, she was a biologist contracted to the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project. Most of her time was spent at a computer performing QA/QC on data or updating figures and graphs most used by Aaron DeLonay. However, she occasionally made it to the river, where she enjoyed seeing pallid sturgeon and was reminded why she entered the natural resources field.
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