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Atlantic Sturgeon Coastal Tagging Programcaptive Atlantic sturgeon

Atlantic sturgeon populations have declined over the past century. The commercial fishery was closed in 1998 due to concern over low population numbers. Low relative abundance and extensive coastal migrations make Atlantic sturgeon populations difficult to assess on a coast-wide basis without cooperative efforts between jurisdictions.

The Maryland Fishery Resources Office (MFRO) initiated the coast-wide sturgeon tagging program in 1992. Both species of sturgeon, Atlantic and shortnose are tagged by state, federal, and university partners and data is provided to the MFRO. Externally tagged sturgeon, captured by fishermen are reported to the MFRO via a toll-free phone number. 

Through the coast-wide sturgeon tagging database, biological information, including movement, growth, mortality, and distribution of Atlantic sturgeon are collected. The data has provided biologists with information that has proved useful for determining the coast-wide status of this species.

State and federal biologists and managers working with sturgeon recovery programs in Atlantic coastal waters need your help and welcome any information you can provide about this fish. If you catch a tagged Atlantic sturgeon, call 1-800-448-8322 to report information about the capture, such as the tag number, length, date, location and method of capture.

Last updated: January 30, 2013
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