Sturgeon tagged 26 years ago resurfaces – in the same location

1201 Sturgeon 0
(Photo by Amanda Higgs/Cornell Department of Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences)

Hudson River Estuary — Recently, while working on a two-year shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) stock assessment in the mid-Hudson River tidewater, biologists caught a shortnose sturgeon that had been tagged 26 years ago in the same location.

The fish had been tagged during the last population estimate conducted by Mark Bain of Cornell University. At the time, the shortnose was 25.6 inches long and was estimated to be 15 years old. Upon recapture, it was 34.6 inches long, having grown approximately eleven millimeters (mm) per year (0.429 inches).

Based on the length-at-age of the original capture, the shortnose was now likely to be more than 40 years old.

Shortnose sturgeon was the first fish listed as federally endangered with the enactment of the 1973 Endangered Species Act. They are the smallest of the three New York State sturgeons, rarely exceeding four feet in length and 18 lb. in weight. They reach maturity at around seven to ten years; growing very slowly, they rarely exceed four-feet long and 18 lb. in weight. The oldest known female reached 67 years of age and the oldest known male was 32 years.

Adult shortnose sturgeon migrate upriver from their estuarine freshwater wintering areas to freshwater spawning locations (the precise locations of shortnose sturgeon spawning and wintering locations are kept vague due to the possibility of exploitation. DEC Region 3 Hudson River Fisheries Unit.

— Fishingwire

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