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Restoring an Ancient Legacy
Midwest Region, November 13, 2013
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Doug Aloisi and Jeff Lockington stocking St. Lawrence River lake sturgeon.
Doug Aloisi and Jeff Lockington stocking St. Lawrence River lake sturgeon. - Photo Credit: USFWS
GNFH and NYFO (USFWS) staff fertilizing St. Lawrence River lake sturgeon eggs.
GNFH and NYFO (USFWS) staff fertilizing St. Lawrence River lake sturgeon eggs. - Photo Credit: USFWS

A cooperative effort among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – New York Field Office, Genoa National Fish Hatchery, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe , the New York Power Authority and the U.S. Geological Survey is leading to the restoration of lake sturgeon to the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries.

In June 2013 hatchery staff, Doug Aloisi and Orey Eckes, aided with the collection of lake sturgeon eggs from wild caught spawning fish below the New York Power Authority dam in Massena, New York. After fertilization eggs were transported to Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Genoa, Wisconsin and New York Department of Environtment  Conservation's Oneida Hatchery. Eggs from Genoa were reared in the newly renovated isolation facility until disease-free certification was obtained by the Service's La Crosse Fish Health Center. Upon disease free clearance, fish were transferred to Genoa's sturgeon rearing building where warmer water temperatures are ideal for further grow out. Sturgeon were fed diets of brine shrimp, bloodworms and krill until they were 6 inches long by the beginning of October. All sturgeon from Genoa were coded wire tagged, which gives them a batch identification number, allowing resource managers to assess future population growth and survival. By mid-October sturgeon were ready to make their journey back east.

In October 2013 hatchery staff ventured out east with approximately 11,000 tagged lake sturgeon. Upon arrival they were welcomed by local press representatives and staff from Service's New York Field Office, New York Department of Environmental Conservation,  St. Regis Mohawk Trib, New York Power Authority and the U.S. Geological Survey. The sturgeon were released into the St. Lawrence River at Ogdensburg and below the New York Power Authority's dam in Massena, as well as several larger tributaries. With this cooperative effort among agencies, biologist are hopeful populations of lake sturgeon in the St. Lawrence River may one day return to historic numbers. The Genoa staff are looking forward to working with these partners for years to come to establish a growing tradition toward the restoration of lake sturgeon to the St. Lawrence River.

 

 


Contact Info: Orey Eckes, 608-689-2605, Orey_Eckes@fws.gov



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