Habitats and movements of shovelnose sturgeons in the upper Mississippi River

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habitat, sturgeon, pool, Mississippi River, mark-recapture, activity, homing, water depth, dams, structures, channel, upstream

Journal or Book Title

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society


Habitats and movements of shovelnose sturgeons (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) inPool 13 of the upper Mississippi River were ascertained during April-September 1982 by radiotelemetry,drifted trammel net, and mark-recapture methods. The fish were mostly sedentary, butsometimes they moved up to 11.7 km/d. Most movements occurred in May and July and thefewest in April and June. Long-range movements up to 17 km were noted between activitycenters (areas occupied for 3–93 d). Among 22 radio-tagged shovelnose sturgeons, eightshowed homing behaviour. The fish were frequently located at water depths of 2–7 m, wherecurrents were 20–40 cm/s at the bottom and 40–70 cm/s at the surface. During spring high-riverstages, shovelnose sturgeons were located most frequently downstream from wing dams (rockand brush structures built perpendicular to river flow in the main channel), downstream fromclosing dams (rock and brush structures built across side channels), and at the border of the mainchannel within 50 m of shore. During low-river stages in summer, they were usually close to or inthe main channel or on the upstream side of wing dams and closing dams.





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