Where The Girls Are

October proved to be a busy and successful month for USGS Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project biologists as four reproductive female pallid sturgeon were targeted and recaptured between river miles 359 and 599.  Using a portable ultrasound device, scientists were able to determine that all four females were at a 4/5 reproductive stage (see photo below), indicating that these fish will be ready to spawn during the spring of 2013.  Three of the reproductive females, PLS11-016, PLS11-017, and PLS11-018 were all initially implanted with telemetry devices in April of 2011.  All three females were located downstream of Bellevue, Nebraska during last month’s river sweep.  The fourth female, PLS08-035, was initially implanted in March of 2008 as a non-reproductive female.  PLS08-035 was last located upstream of Kansas City, KS in late October.  Biologists will continue to monitor the movements of these females with the hopes of documenting spawning behavior in the spring.  For more information on this year’s reproductive females, see previous post “Thinking Ahead”.

Pre-spawn ultrasound image of reproductive female pallid sturgeon PLS11-016: the green arrow points to a ripe egg in the side view of the fish’s abdominal cavity.



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