Re: NANFA-- Sturgeon news from GA

Bruce Stallsmith (
Tue, 17 Dec 2002 20:10:26 -0500

I'm happy to see sturgeon reintroduced to the Coosa system. But it's funny,
the story below doesn't mention that the Coosa has been damned which would
have to have some negative effect on sturgeon in tandem with other
environmental insults. These dams had bad effects on other fishes, like
Alabama shad (gone from the river) and blue shiners (pushed further up the
Little River, another Coosa trib). (And I'm still trying to figure out how
to pronounce Oostanaula...)

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>From: Rose Lawn Museum <>
>Subject: NANFA-- Sturgeon news from GA
>Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 15:34:55 -0500
>Hi All
>In case you missed it...
>Steven A. Ellis
>Kennesaw, GA
>Story reprinted from The (Cartersville, GA) Daily Tribune News, 12/12/02
>Staff writer, Grant Sinclair,
>Sturgeon back in Coosa River System
> Fishermen in Bartow County may soon see a long-forgotten fish in the
>Etowah River.
> 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
>stocked fish.
> "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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