Critical swimming speed and behaviour of juvenile shovelnose sturgeon and pallid sturgeon

Publication Date



juvenile, sturgeon, swimming, swimming performance, swim tunnel, Substrate

Journal or Book Title

Transactions of the American Fisheries Society


The swimming performance of hatchery-reared, juvenile shovelnose sturgeon(Scaphirhynchus plarorynchus) and pallid sturgeon (S. albus) was studied in a laboratory swimtunnel at 20°C and 10oC. The mean 30-min critical swimming speed was not significantly differentbetween species at either temperature (36.9 cm/s for shovelnose sturgeon and 35.9 cm/s forpallid sturgeon at 20°C, 19.4 cm/s for shovelnose sturgeon and 150 cm/s for pallid sturgeon at10°C). Free swimming (swimming without contact with the substrate) was observed less than18% of the time at speeds greater than 15 cm/s. As speed increased, pallid sturgeon Swamsignificantly less in the water column at 20°C; however, speed had no effect on percent freeswimming among shovelnose sturgeon at 20°C. The results of this study indicate that, over thetemperature and size range tested, shovelnose sturgeon and pallid sturgeon probably do notsegregate in rivers due to different swimming or station-holding abilities.





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