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View Diary: The Daily Bucket: Baby Bowfin and Other Adventures at the Dock (64 comments)

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  •  Even ignoring the issue of genetic diversity (11+ / 0-)

    sturgeon are slow growing long-lived fish.  Some info from the US Fish and Wildlife Service

    Life history characteristics of lake sturgeon are unique with respect to other fishes and are as follows:

    sexual maturity in females is reached between 14 and 33 years, most often from 24-26 years; and, 8 to 12 years for males (but may take up to 22 years);
    female lake sturgeon spawn once every 4 to 9 years while males spawn every 2 to 7 years;
    spawning occurs on clean, gravel shoals and stream rapids from April to June in preferred water temperatures of 55-64oF;
    female lake sturgeon lay 4,000 to 7,000 eggs per pound of fish;
    growth rates are quite variable throughout its range and depend on temperature, food availability, and water quality; and,
    the typical life-span of lake sturgeon is 55 years for males and 80-150 years for females.

    Organisms with this sort of life history evolved in an environment with very high juvenile mortality and very low adult mortality.  The sort of program the sturgeon hunters want (captive breeding and then stocking the wild with juveniles and then open season on wild adults) will result in decimation of the adult population no matter how many healthy juveniles you add.  Most of the juveniles will succumb to predation at small sizes (as is normal) and hunting will wipe out the adults.

    Understanding fish life histories is vital to management but it does involve math...

    "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

    by matching mole on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 12:31:49 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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