South Dakota wildlife agency begins shovelnose sturgeon research

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will begin sampling shovelnose sturgeon in Lake Sharpe in an effort to document population characteristics and seasonal behaviors of the species.

Beginning this week, GFP will use baited trotlines marked with floating buoys to capture shovelnose sturgeon from Oahe Dam downstream to DeGrey access area on Lake Sharpe. All fish will be measured, weighed and affixed with an individually numbered t-bar anchor tag. A small fin clip will also be taken for aging purposes. These fish will then be released back into Lake Sharpe.

GFP will use this information to formulate a population estimate and determine growth, recruitment and mortality of this prehistoric species. In May, GFP will once again sample these fish and surgically implant a small number with acoustic-telemetry tags. These fish will then be monitored for the next two years using remote listening stations placed underwater throughout Lake Sharpe. The study will aid in the active management of shovelnose sturgeon in Lake Sharpe.

For more information on the shovelnose sturgeon research project, contact Chelsey Pasbrig at 605.773.2743 or Chelsey.Pasbrig@state.sd.us.

— South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

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