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Archive for March 28, 2012

Lake Sturgeon Inhabiting Native Waters Again

Fisheries Technician Tracy Feltman holds a lake sturgeon recently collected on the Coosa River. This particular individual was 7 years old, almost 30 inches long and weighed 7 lbs.

Thanks to Georgia Department of Natural Resources stocking efforts, lake sturgeon are once again inhabiting their native waters in the Coosa River basin.

Wiped out in the 1960s, this prehistoric looking, shark-like fish made its return to Georgia waters in 2002 when the DNR began the re-stocking effort. When fully-grown, these fish can be over 6 feet long and weigh 50-100 lbs. or more!

Last year, Georgia received national recognition when awarded a “2010 Outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Access Award-Lake Sturgeon Reintroduction in Georgia” by the American Fisheries Society’s Fisheries Administrator’s Section. The project will benefit anglers in Georgia and Alabama with its far sighted and far reaching efforts to re-establish lake sturgeon.

Sturgeon have a slow growth rate, so biologists do not expect allowable harvest of these fish until at least 2027. However, ongoing monitoring on the Coosa River indicates that these fish seem to be doing well, and as the picture shows, some of the sturgeon are beginning to grow to a decent size!

If you catch a sturgeon, please contact the Calhoun Wildlife Resources Division office at 706-642-1161 to report the location from which the sturgeon was caught. Such information is helpful to biologists assessing the survival of these magnificent sport fish.

For more information on lake sturgeon, visit www.georgiawildife.com/Fisheries/LakeSturgeon.

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