Huntsville, AL, US of A
>From: Rose Lawn Museum <roselawn_at_mindspring.com>
>Subject: NANFA-- Sturgeon news from GA
>Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 15:34:55 -0500
>In case you missed it...
>Steven A. Ellis
>Story reprinted from The (Cartersville, GA) Daily Tribune News, 12/12/02
>Staff writer, Grant Sinclair, gsinclair_at_daily-tribune.com
>Sturgeon back in Coosa River System
> Fishermen in Bartow County may soon see a long-forgotten fish in the
> The Georgia Wildlife Division reintroduced lake sturgeon into the
>Coosa River system, specifically the Oostanaula River, after six years of
> "We released a little over 1,100 6- to 8-inch fish in two different
>locations on the Oostanaula," said WRD Fisheries Biologist Gary Beisser.
>"We expect the fish to spread out through the entire Coosa system,
>including the Etowah River."
> The fish were released near Calhoun in Gordon County and Pinson in
>Floyd County. The Oostanaula and Etowah rivers meet to form the Coosa
> WRD, in cooperation with the University of Georgia, will monitor the
>reintroduction of the fish over the next five years. Some of the fish, once
>they grow larger, will be fitted with radio tags to track the movement of
>the fish. All fish restocked are fitted with small, internal magnetic tags
>so scientists can determine if a fish was stocked or reproduced from
> "We chose the Oostanaula River because historically it was a major
>spawning area fo the fish, " Beisser said. "Next year, we will begin
>stocking the Etowah River as well. We want to stock as high upstream as we
>can so the fish distribute themselves throughout the river system."
> Lake sturgeon, often called "living fossils," are an ancient species
>of fish dating back to the dinosaurs and is considered threatened in the
>United States. The fish is found mainly in the Great Lakes, but until
>around 1960, was found abundantly in the Coosa River system. Scientists
>believe pollution and over-fishing were to blame for the disappearance of
>the fish from most of its original range, according to WRD.
> "I am really exited," said Mitch Lawson, coordinator of of the Coosa
>River Basin Initiative. "I think it is great to see the state reintroducing
>a threatened species into the river system. I hope the [Georgia
>Environmental Protection Division] is serious about cleaning up our rivers.
>I'd hate to see the fish die off and waste all that money."
> The fish can grow up to 5 feet long and weigh as much as 100 pounds.
>The fish has a slow reproduction rate, taking between 14 and 23 years to
>mature and then reproducing every seven to nine years. The WRD believes the
>fish will reproduce faster in warmer water like the Coosa River system than
>its cold-water counterparts, much like other fish that inhabit both warm
>and cold waters.
> Lake sturgeon eggs are used in caviar and remain in high demand
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