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Project overview: Chapter A in Factors affecting the reproduction, recruitment, habitat, and population dynamics of pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon in the Missouri River

June 13, 2007

For more than a hundred years, human activities have modified the natural forces that control the Missouri River and its native fish fauna. While the ecological effects of regulation and channel engineering are understood in general, the current understanding is not sufficient to guide river restoration and management. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is in the third year of a multiagency research effort to determine the ecological requirements for reproduction and survival of the endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) and shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorhynchus) in the Missouri River. The multidisciplinary research strategy includes components of behavior, physiology, habitat use, habitat availability, and population modeling of all life stages. Shovelnose sturgeon are used to design the strategy because they are closely related to the pallid sturgeon and are often used as a surrogate species to develop new research tools or to examine the effects of management actions or environmental variables on sturgeon biology and habitat use.

During fiscal years 2005 and 2006, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) provided funds to USGS for tasks associated with the Comprehensive Sturgeon Research Program (CSRP) and for tasks associated with evaluation of the Sturgeon Response to Flow Modifications (SRFM). Because work activities of CSRP and SRFM are so integrated, we are providing information on activities that have been consolidated at the task level. These task activities represent chapters in this report.