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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Vagabond Sturgeon

Region 3, December 2, 2013
Shovelnose Sturgeon, like this one held by Heather Garrison, are capable of long distance movement throughout the Mississippi River Basin.
Shovelnose Sturgeon, like this one held by Heather Garrison, are capable of long distance movement throughout the Mississippi River Basin. - Photo Credit: n/a

During fish sampling activities on the Missouri River, we often recapture shovelnose sturgeon that were originally tagged on the Mississippi River along the Illinois/Missouri state boundary. This is not surprising considering that there are no barriers between the two rivers and sturgeon are known to swim long distances.  However, we recently captured a shovelnose sturgeon with an unfamiliar fish tag that had us scratching our heads.

After a quick internet search, we concluded that this fish was most likely tagged by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP). Fisheries Biologist Nathan Aycock of MDWFP confirmed that this was in fact a fish they had tagged.  Records showed that we recaptured this fish more than 600 miles upstream from where it was tagged two years ago.  The shovelnose sturgeon traveled through portions of six states, again illustrating the importance of scientific collaboration when dealing with interjurisdictional fishes such as sturgeon.

 

Contact Info: Colby Wrasse, 573-234-2132 x30, colby_wrasse@fws.gov