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Habitat use and movements of shovelnose sturgeon in Pool 13 of the upper Mississippi River during extreme low flow conditions

January 1, 1997

We monitored habitat use and movement of 27 adult shovelnose sturgeon in Pool 13 of the upper Mississippi River, Iowa-Illinois, by radio-telemetry in April through August 1988. Our objective was to determine the response of this species to unusually low water conditions in the upper Mississippi River in 1988. Most (94%) telemetry contacts were made in 3 habitat types: main channel (50%), main channel border where wing dams were present (29%), and tailwaters of Lock and Dam 12 (15%). Habitat use in spring was affected by the extreme low flows. We often found tagged shovelnose sturgeon in the main channel and tailwaters during the spring period (11 March–20 May) where water velocities were highest. This was in contrast to other studies where shovelnose sturgeon did not occupy those areas during years with normal spring flows. Shovelnose sturgeon were typically found in areas with a sand bottom, mean water depth of 5.8 m, and mean bottom current velocity of 0.23 m sec-1. They occupied areas of swifter current but were not always found in the fastest current in their immediate vicinity. Tagged shovelnose sturgeon tended to remain in the upper, more riverine portion of the pool, and we observed no emigration from the study pool. Linear total range of movement from the tagging site ranged from 1.9 to 54.6 km during the study period.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1997
Title Habitat use and movements of shovelnose sturgeon in Pool 13 of the upper Mississippi River during extreme low flow conditions
DOI 10.1023/A:1007319909219
Authors Gary L. Curtis, John S. Ramsey, Dennis L. Scarnecchia
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Biology of Fishes
Series Number
Index ID 70006477
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center