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.

   


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Winter Workshop Series Jan-March 2016 Outdoor Chattanooga's Winter Workshop Series are FREE classroom based seminars and workshops designed to educate and inspire the public to be confident to get outdoors. The workshops cover a variety of topics and occur on Thursdays from 6 - 7:30 p.m. beginning ... (click for more)

March 2016 Events At Georgia’s State Parks And Historic Sites

Below is a sample of March events at Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites. For more programs, visit  www.GaStateParks.org/events  and the parks’ web pages.   More information on accommodations and recreation can be found at GeorgiaStateParks.org  or  1-800-864-7275 .    H idden  G em Ser ies Throughout 2016, ... (click for more)

Female, 18, Shot On South Seminole Early Saturday Morning

An 18-year-old female was shot in the leg on South Seminole early Saturday morning. Chattanooga Police responded to the 200 block of South Seminole after a report of a shooting. There police located one victim suffering from a single, non-life threatening gunshot wound. T he victim, Cierra L Kirksey, was inside her home when the shooting occurred. The suspect was ... (click for more)

Almost $5 Million In Donations Received For Organ Donor Awareness Since Program Began

Hamilton County Clerk Bill Knowles, one of the founding board members of the Tennessee County Clerks Organ Donor Awareness Foundation, announce d that in 2015  the  95 Tennessee County Clerk offices marked a milestone of receiving almost $5 million in donations since its formation in 1996. Mr. Knowles said,  “Over  the years  Hamilton County  consistently ... (click for more)

Black History Month Hero - Theodore McGraw (Kidd) AKA "Pongee"

I grew up in "Old St. Elmo" on 39th Street behind the Incline. As a child I remember my older brother "Pongee" as being my hero. This month of February being Black History Month, I cannot think of a better person to be honored than my late older brother, Theodore McGraw (Kidd) aka "Pongee" of St. Elmo (Gamble Town). Growing up without my father, Theodore was always available ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: About Lions & Elephants

A family of lions is called a ‘pride’ and rightfully so. The boss of the pride is indeed the ‘King of the Jungle’ and he makes all the big decisions, like when they go hunting, who is going to be ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ and is quick to settle any family quarrels. But, as with all in nature, there comes a day when the King gets too old to rule. His teeth are loose, his gait hampered ... (click for more)