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Shovelnose Sturgeon PopulationsEvaluated at Annual MICRA Meeting
Midwest Region, January 31, 2007
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The MICRA sturgeon and paddlefish committee meeting held in St. Louis, Missouri served as a platform for biologists, law enforcement, and regulatory representatives from 11 States, numerous Federal agencies and Universities to discuss the sustainability of roe harvest on the Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri Rivers.

The meeting summarized a decade of monitoring and research on paddlefish, shovelnose sturgeon and pallid sturgeon within the Mississippi basin. Columbia FRO summarized the results of shovelnose sturgeon catches for the lower 800 miles of the Missouri River including efforts from Nebraska Game and Parks and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

This was the first look at the data summarizing four years of intensive effort under the COE Pallid Monitoring and Assessment Program. The results showed a wide variability in catch rates of shovelnose throughout the Lower Missouri River with more shovelnose being captured in the lower 200 miles.

Despite some commercial fishing pressure from the State of Missouri, the shovelnose population only appeared depressed near the confluence of the Mississippi River. State and Federal agencies are concerned with the increase in the price of caviar, $450 per pound/ retail for shovelnose, and the effects the demand will have on native sturgeon and paddlefish populations.

There is an extensive effort to monitor changes in shovelnose and paddlefish populations and to evaluate the effects of incidental take of the endangered pallid sturgeon.

Contact Info: Larry Dean, 612-713-5312, Larry_Dean@fws.gov



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