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Juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) movement during autumn and winter in the lower Sacramento River, California, 2016–20

October 31, 2022

A collaborative acoustic telemetry study was conducted to describe behavior and movement patterns of juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) in the lower Sacramento River, California during 2016–19. For the study, juvenile green sturgeon were collected, tagged, and released in the Sacramento River between river kilometer (rkm) 467 and rkm 419 near Red Bluff, California. Telemetry monitoring sites were located between rkm 464 and rkm 1 to detect tagged fish that moved downstream. In this report, we describe movement patterns of juvenile green sturgeon in the lower Sacramento River between rkm 167 and rkm 52. In total, 98 juvenile green sturgeon were tagged and released during the study and 46 of these fish moved downstream and were detected in the lower Sacramento River. Downstream movement appeared to be associated with periods of increasing river flow, and the greatest percentage of tagged fish were detected moving downstream during the first period of increased streamflow each autumn. The number of tagged fish that were detected decreased in lower reaches of the study area, but it’s not clear if this was because fish experienced mortality while moving downstream, stopped moving downstream to rear in study reaches, or their transmitters stopped working due to battery life limitations. We did find that several fish were detected moving upstream between telemetry monitoring sites in the lower reaches of the study area. This study provides new insights into movement patterns and behavior of juvenile green sturgeon in the lower Sacramento River, but additional research will be required to better understand factors such as survival and how fish respond to estuarine conditions.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Juvenile green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) movement during autumn and winter in the lower Sacramento River, California, 2016–20
DOI 10.3133/ofr20221091
Authors Amy C. Hansen, Robert D. Chase, Tobias J. Kock, Russell W. Perry, Josh J. Gruber, William R. Poytress
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2022-1091
Index ID ofr20221091
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center