Tennessee Aquarium And Partners To Release 1,100 Lake Sturgeon

Elementary Students Will Help And Learn About New Sonic Tags

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - by Thom Benson
- photo by Tennessee Aquarium

Biologists from the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI), Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and the University of Tennessee’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries will release 1,100 Lake Sturgeon on Wednesday at noon. This reintroduction will take place near Knoxville at the Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge. This location on the French Broad River has been identified as favorable habitat for this species, Acipenser fulvescens,  which is listed as endangered within Tennessee’s waters.

Students from a fifth grade class at Gap Creek Elementary in Knoxville are very excited to help with this release. They will learn how biologists will begin using sonic tags to track the movement of Lake Sturgeon during the next phase of monitoring, which will begin in November.

These students have been caring for a juvenile lake sturgeon since the beginning of the school year. Each day the Gap Creek students record data about the fish including feedings, water temperature, pH, ammonia levels, length and behavioral observations.

These hands-on classroom activities and assisting with this release increases their understanding of freshwater conservation. They also discover how the health of the river and human health are connected.

The Tennessee Aquarium and its partners have reintroduced more than 127,000 lake sturgeon to the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers since 1998. The goal of the long-term “Saving the Sturgeon” program is to restore a self-sustaining population of lake sturgeon in Tennessee. So far this effort has proven very successful with anglers reporting these fish downstream in Alabama and Kentucky. Biologists have also been encouraged by recent surveys to monitor the population between Knoxville and Chattanooga.

These impressive fish are true river giants. Some may grow to more than eight feet in length. Lake sturgeon have also been known to live nearly 150 years, feeding mainly on bottom dwelling crayfishes, mussels, aquatic insect larvae and small fishes.

The Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute (TNACI) is the conservation and research arm of the Tennessee Aquarium, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) institution. As leaders in freshwater conservation, TNACI’s mission is to conserve and restore native aquatic animals and their habitats within the richly bio-diverse Southeast United States.

The “Saving the Sturgeon” working partners are:

Conservation Fisheries, Inc.

Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute

Tennessee Tech University

Tennessee Valley Authority

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

University of Tennessee Knoxville

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

U.S. Geological Survey

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

World Wildlife Fund


Chattanooga Get Fit Challenge: Hike Stringer’s Ridge Saturday With Mayor Berke And Friends

Mayor Andy Berke invites the community to join him tomorrow at 11 a.m. in the Chattanooga Get Fit Challenge for a fun hike up to the overlook at Old Bell Avenue Trailhead at Stringer’s Ridge, the 92-acre urban wilderness park just minutes from downtown Chattanooga. Mayor Berke and participants in the Get Fit Challenge will explore one of the largest natural areas within city ... (click for more)

Southeast Tennessee Area Legislators Part Of Hunters For The Hungry Record-Breaking Year

Tennessee Wildlife Federation's Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) is reporting its best season for the donation of white-tailed deer by Tennessee hunters in the program's 18-year history. HFTH Manager Matt Simcox says hunters donated more than 140,000 pounds of venison to participating wild game processors in Tennessee over the 2015-16 season, resulting in some 576,000 healthy ... (click for more)

Settlement May Be Close In Government's $1.8 Billion Case Against Cleveland, Tn.-Based Life Care Centers Of America

A settlement may be close in the federal government's massive False Claims Act case against Cleveland, Tn.-based Life Care Centers of America. Attorneys have asked Chattanooga Federal Judge Sandy Mattice to put a 30-day hold on depositions, saying a settlement is in the works. Judge Mattice granted the motion. The government says claims in the case amount to $1.8 billion. ... (click for more)

Erlanger Projecting $15.2 Million Profit In Aggressive "Growth Budget"

Erlanger Health Systems is projecting a $15.2 million profit in an aggressive "growth budget" for the upcoming fiscal year. President Kevin Spiegel, who has led the public hospital to a succession of profitable years, said the projections are based on a TennCare waiver being renewed once again. He said if it is not renewed, then the hospital will have to completely rework the ... (click for more)

Late-Night Harassment By The Signal Mountain Police - And Response (8)

I am writing about the misconduct of the Signal Mountain Police Department. This is a repetitive civil rights problem, systemic within their department, with no hint of remorse or regret or a notion to change, though they have been confronted numerous times.   I live on Signal Mountain. In the last few months, I have been pulled over three times while I was driving three ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Hot Rod’s Catfish Dinner

It could well be the best part of playing a prank is in the delicious moments until your “fish” takes the hook. So yesterday afternoon, as I tried repeatedly to talk to a man I haven’t spoken to in 27 years, rather than leave my name I popped off the Happy Birthday song in a snappy, loud way and then ended it with a simple, “Call me,” adding my number. John “Hot Rod” Talley spent ... (click for more)