U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Opens Comment Period On Draft Recovery Plan For Federally-Endangered Pallid Sturgeon

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A draft recovery plan aimed at recovering the federally endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), a bottom-feeding fish considered to be a relic of the dinosaur era, is available for public review and comment from March 15 to May 14.

Pallid Sturgeon are an important indicator of the health of several of America’s largest rivers, and represent a unique piece of America’s natural history, with fossil ancestors dating back over 70 million years. The draft revised plan summarizes and updates the available information on the species life history needs, reevaluates the threats to the species, and identifies recovery efforts.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service originally drafted the recovery plan in 1993 as an outline of the steps necessary to recover the imperiled fish, which dates back to the prehistoric era. Revisions to the recovery plan will allow the service and its conservation partners to better address threats such as habitat destruction to the imperiled fish.

“In order to keep pace with the rapidly changing and heavily used rivers the pallid sturgeon calls home, we are updating its recovery plan to better meet the conservation challenges,” said Noreen Walsh, Mountain-Prairie regional director. “It’s our goal to conserve and protect this ‘living dinosaur’ from extinction for future generations of Americans.”

A number of threats to the pallid sturgeon’s habitat have complicated the recovery of this freshwater fish. Human modification of its river habitat such as river channelization, impoundment, and altered flow regimes are in part responsible. Degraded water quality and disease are among other factors proving challenges to recovery of the pallid sturgeon.

Historically, its distribution included the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in Montana downstream to the Missouri-Mississippi confluence and the Mississippi River possibly from near Keokuk, Iowa downstream to New Orleans, Louisiana. Pallid sturgeon were also found in the lower reaches of some of the larger tributaries to the Missouri, Mississippi, and Yellowstone rivers including the Tongue, Milk, Niobrara, Platte, Kansas, Big Sioux, St. Francis, and Grand rivers.  The total length of the pallid sturgeon range historically was about 5,656 River kilometers (3,515 River miles). 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners have been working diligently to recovery the pallid sturgeon by artificially propagating and stocking sturgeon, population monitoring and researching the life history and needs of the pallid sturgeon for natural reproduction. In addition, the Service and partners are working to create fish passages at Intake Dam on the Yellowstone River in Montana.

Today, wild pallid sturgeon persist in the un-impounded reaches of the Missouri River, Mississippi River and some of their larger tributaries. Pallid sturgeon observations and records have increased with sampling effort in the middle and lower Mississippi River. Additionally, in 1991 the species was identified in the Atchafalaya River of Louisiana, and in 2011 pallid sturgeon were documented entering the lower reaches of the Arkansas River.

An electronic copy of the draft recovery plan is available here: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/species/recovery-plans.html.

   


TFWC Updated On Chronic Wasting Disease, Boating Statistics, Endangered Species, And Budget Process

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission heard updates on chronic wasting disease (CWD), Tennessee’s In Need of Management, Threatened, and Endangered Wildlife Listing, boating statistics, and budget process during its July meeting. The two-day session concluded Friday and was held at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Chuck Yoest, assistant ... (click for more)

Public Invitation Issued To Hear Results Of South Holston Smallmouth Bass Tagging Study

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency invites the public to attend a meeting to learn about the results of a recent smallmouth bass tagging study performed on South Holston Lake. According to Fisheries Biologist John Hammonds, the study was conducted in January and February 2017.  In order to mimic a real world scenario, volunteer anglers caught the fish out of water ... (click for more)

Pair Arrested In Connection With Lookout Mountain Vehicle Thefts, Break-Ins

Police on Lookout Mountain said two arrests have been made tied to the theft of  two vehicles stolen from a home in Lookout Mountain, Ga., last week.   In connection to the vehicle thefts, seven other vehicles were entered and several items were stolen. Lookout Mountain, Ga., Chief Todd Gann said, "Early  Wednesday  morning, a Georgia resident noticed ... (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us on Facebook ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Dear Friend Jake

Two weeks ago four of us piled in a car to go down to Canton, Ga., so we could tell Jake Butcher goodbye. Bob McKamey, former mayor Ron Littlefield, a dazzling guy named Steve Wilson, and myself. This would be the last time any of us would see Jake. It was a spectacular day and anyone who doesn’t believe in such goodbyes is missing out on the greatest moment in their life. It is ... (click for more)