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Ecological requirements for pallid sturgeon reproduction and recruitment in the Missouri River—Annual report 2013

January 21, 2016

The Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project is a multiyear, multiagency collaborative research framework developed to provide information to support pallid sturgeon recovery and Missouri River management decisions. The project strategy integrates field and laboratory studies of pallid sturgeon reproductive ecology, early life history, habitat requirements, and physiology. The project scope of work is developed annually with collaborating research partners and in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Missouri River Recovery—Integrated Science Program. The research consists of several interdependent and complementary tasks that engage multiple disciplines.

The research tasks in the 2013 scope of work emphasized understanding reproductive migrations and spawning of adult pallid sturgeon, and hatch and drift of free embryos and larvae. These tasks were addressed in four study sections located in three hydrologically and geomorphologically distinct parts of the Missouri River Basin: the Upper Missouri River downstream from Fort Peck Dam, including downstream reaches of the Milk River, the Lower Yellowstone River, and the Lower Missouri River downstream from Gavins Point Dam. The research is designed to inform management decisions related to channel re-engineering, flow modification, and pallid sturgeon population augmentation on the Missouri River, and throughout the range of the species. Research and progress made through this project are reported to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers annually. This annual report details the research effort and progress made by the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Project during 2013.