Population Status of Atlantic Sturgeon in Virginia Rivers and Other Parts of the Chesapeake Watershed Discussed in July-August 2016 Issue of Bay Journal

Biologists alarmed over lack of young Atlantic sturgeon in surveys,” by Karl Blankenship, in the July-August 2016 issue of Bay Journal, discusses recent findings and current debates by fisheries scientists studying populations of Atlantic Sturgeon in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, particularly the James and Pamunkey rivers in Virginia and the Nanticoke River in Maryland.  While researchers have been encouraged by increased numbers of adult sturgeon, they are concerned over the small numbers of juvenile sturgeon showing up in surveys since about 2005.  Fishery biologists in several state and federal organizations—including the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and the National Marine Fisheries Service—are examining and debating possible causes of the lack of juvenile sturgeon.  Three potential factors being discussed are the potential impacts of non-native Blue Catfish, variation in weather, and the relatively small size of adult populations (despite recent increases) available for breeding.

The article is available online at http://www.bayjournal.com/article/biologists_alarmed_over_lack_of_young_atlantic_sturgeon_in_surveys; or contact Bay Journal at at (717) 428-2819; e-mail: bayjournal@earthlink.net.

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