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Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) annual adult survival estimated from acoustic telemetry

December 13, 2021

Survival of adult fishes is critical to the conservation and management of wild populations, particularly for long-lived, slow to reproduce species. Most sturgeon species are of conservation concern, but their long lifespans and large ranges have made estimation of adult survival rates challenging. In this study, acoustic telemetry was used to track 205 lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) tagged in the St. Clair and Detroit rivers of the Laurentian Great Lakes over seven years (2012–2019). The objective of this study was to determine if annual survival was related to sex, size, tagging location (river), or year post-tagging using Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) models. Annual survival was high among all seven years (range of point estimates: 95–99%) and did not differ based on sex, tagging year, size at time of tagging, or tagging location. Lake sturgeon detection probability on acoustic receivers was high each year (range of point estimates: 82–99%) and increased as the number of receivers in the system increased. High survival rates of lake sturgeon were consistent with levels thought required for lake sturgeon to be self-sustaining in the St. Clair – Detroit river system. Our application of acoustic telemetry detections as input to CJS models demonstrated the usefulness of this approach and should be considered for population assessment studies throughout the Great Lakes and beyond.

Publication Year 2021
Title Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) annual adult survival estimated from acoustic telemetry
DOI 10.1016/j.jglr.2021.08.007
Authors Scott F. Colborne, Todd A. Hayden, Christopher Holbrook, Darryl W. Hondorp, Charles C. Krueger
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Great Lakes Research
Index ID 70228081
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center