Author Archives: Emily Pherigo

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.

Which came first, the sturgeon or the egg?

While the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project (CSRP) at the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) is focused on pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) and the closely-related shovelnose sturgeon (S. platorynchus), the CERC also conducts behavioral, physiological and toxicological research on other … Continue reading

Posted in Early life history, Sturgeon culture and propagation | Tagged , |

Down the Wide Missouri

With the spawning season behind us and the intensive Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project (CSRP) telemetry tracking effort completed, the tracking crews change their focus from following reproductive adults and locating spawning sites to characterizing post-spawn and non-reproductive habitat of pallid … Continue reading

Posted in River Sweep, Telemetry tracking |

Island living

Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC) crews assisted USGS biologist Pat Braaten and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Jason Rhoten in examining pallid sturgeon on the Yellowstone River from June 29 through July 8.  Various pallid sturgeon were located and … Continue reading

Posted in Upper Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers |

Did she or didn’t she?

When the spring spawning migration finally ends and the tagged female is recaptured, all is not over.  The question on everyone’s mind is, “Did she spawn, or didn’t she?” Using a portable ultrasound unit similar to those used in modern … Continue reading

Posted in Recapture, Reproductive Female, Telemetry tracking | Tagged , , |

It’s hard enough to catch a pallid sturgeon once, but twice?!

  Any fisherman will tell you that just knowing where a fish is located is not enough to catch it.  If it were, we would call it “catching” instead of “fishing.”   Recapturing telemetry tagged pallid sturgeon takes skill, experience, hard work, … Continue reading

Posted in Methods, Recapture |

Path of least resistance?

  USGS hydrologists and biologists joined with biologists from Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to radio track pallid sturgeon as they navigated the Yellowstone River during late May and Early June.  Following one fish over the course of a day … Continue reading

Posted in Habitat mapping, Telemetry tracking, Upper Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers | Tagged |

Yellowstone pathways

Over the past couple of weeks, biologists from the USGS and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have been tracking pallid sturgeon in the Yellowstone River while USGS hydrologists map their habitats.  This pallid sturgeon population has access to the Missouri … Continue reading

Posted in Habitat mapping, Telemetry tracking, Upper Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers | Tagged , , |

A Missouri River delicacy

Fairy shrimp are small crustaceans only distantly related to lobsters, crabs, and the shrimp we commonly find on our dinner tables.  Most species are rather small, seldom larger than an inch in length.  Adapted to temporary habitats, fairy shrimp eggs … Continue reading

Posted in Early life history, Flooding | Tagged , |

Day old sturgeon caught in Lower Missouri River

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, … Continue reading

Posted in Early life history | Tagged , , |

Searching for a needle in a haystack

Female pallid sturgeon with eggs are very rare on the Lower Missouri River.  When one spawns she will release as few as 8,000 to 20,000 eggs over a 12 to 36 hour period.  Those eggs are released in swift water … Continue reading

Posted in Early life history | Tagged , |