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.

   


TWRA Emphasizes Boating Safety Ahead Of Labor Day Weekend

The Labor Day holiday, the final major weekend of the 2016 summer boating season is Sept. 2-5. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency wants to emphasize the use of life jackets while boating in a safe and responsible manner. The TWRA wants all those who visit the waterways to have an enjoyable time. However, TWRA officers will be on the watch for dangerous boating behavior, ... (click for more)

2016 Dove Season Opens Sept. 1, Early Canada Goose Season Also Begins

Dove season opens on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at noon (local time), which marks the annual start of one of Tennessee’s most long-standing outdoor sports traditions. Tennessee’s 2016 season is again divided into three segments: Sept. 1 through Sept. 28; Oct. 8 through Oct. 30; and Dec. 8 through Jan. 15, 2017. Hunting times, other than opening day, are one-half hour before sunrise until ... (click for more)

TBI Adds Jereme Little To Top 10 Most Wanted; Was Set Free By Judge Stern And Then Higher Court Overruled Her

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added to its ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list Jereme Dannuel Little, who was freed by order of Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern, whose decision was recently reversed. Little is wanted by the Chattanooga Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for especially aggravated kidnapping. The TBI said, "Little has a history of ... (click for more)

Gaines Charged In Assault On Ex-Wife, MLK Boulevard Barber

Eric Lee Gaines has been arrested for an assault on his ex-wife and a well-known MLK Boulevard barber. Gaines, 33, of 2803 Curtis St., was charged with disorderly conduct, domestic assault, assault, burglary of a business, public intoxication and retaliation against an officer. In the incident on Thursday, police were summoned to MLK Boulevard on an intoxicated individual. ... (click for more)

Jonathan Welch Is To Be Commended For His Leadership On The School Board

Dr. Jonathan Welch has faithfully served the Hamilton County Board of Education, representing District 2, for the last four years. He ends his time on the school board as chairman, a role he stewarded well during a tumultuous time in our school system as we prepared to search for a new superintendent.  Jonathan has served our school system and represented ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Georgia’s Weak Attacked

The United States Attorney’s Office and our nation’s Justice Department just thrust an unwelcomed spear into the heart of the state of Georgia. And while I am scared to death the same war party is now headed into Tennessee and other states, I wish the DOJ had stopped in Chattanooga for lunch and a quick visit at our Orange Grove Center before filing last Tuesday’s lawsuit against ... (click for more)