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Sturgeon Surgeons Apply New Technique to Reduce Stress to Fish
Midwest Region, June 8, 2007
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Columbia FRO technician Emily Kunz stiches up a shovelnose sturgeon captured on the Missouri River near Columbia Missouri. A sample of eggs was extracted from this sturgeon and will be used in a sturgeon reproductive assessment currently being conducted by USGS. 
- FWS photo by Nick Utrup, Columbia FRO
Columbia FRO technician Emily Kunz stiches up a shovelnose sturgeon captured on the Missouri River near Columbia Missouri. A sample of eggs was extracted from this sturgeon and will be used in a sturgeon reproductive assessment currently being conducted by USGS.

- FWS photo by Nick Utrup, Columbia FRO

- Photo Credit: n/a

Biologists from the Columbia NFWCO have been working with the U.S. Geological Survey to collect blood and eggs from shovelnose sturgeon in the Lower Missouri River since 2005.

 

Members of the USGS research staff examine the blood and eggs from shovelnose sturgeon to better determine their maturity and potentially identify the environmental factors that trigger spawning in these fish.

 

To extract these eggs, biologists make a centimeter incision on the belly of the sturgeon, extract the desired number of eggs, and close the incision with veterinary sutures.  Though effective, these sutures required several minutes of additional handling time that ultimately added to the stress of the fish.

 

Recently, however, instead of using sutures biologists from Columbia NFWCO employed a new liquid adhesive called Nexaband® S/C, which works much like superglue, for closing these invasive incisions.  Preliminary results show this technique is far superior to sutures because it is quick and easy to apply in the field and lessens handling time, thereby reducing stress on the fish. 

 

This corresponds with clinical studies that showed Nexaband® S/C was up to 70% faster than sutures and reduced the need for post-surgical care.  At a price of $20-30 per 10-20 applications, Nexaband® S/C fits nicely into the budget and is easy to store and transport.  Ongoing studies in our laboratory will provide additional confirmation on healing and holding potential of this material.

 

We continually strive to use new technology to improve our jobs as biologists here at the Columbia NFWCO, fulfilling the “Leadership in Science and Technology” focus area of the Fisheries Vision for the Future.


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



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