sturgeon - #wetrackthat HTI Acoustic Telemetry - Jack Perks


One of the most fascinating fish to observe and track is the fantastic sturgeon. There are many species of sturgeon. The lake sturgeon, for example, is an evolutionary ancient bottom feeder that primarily inhabits large river and lake systems in Canadian and the U.S. This species is one of the oldest and is considered threatened and rare. In fact, they are an ancient family of fish from the Upper Cretaceous period (136 million years ago), a time when dinosaurs were at the height of their development.

Sturgeon long lived and their spawning behaviors are unique. In fact, the longest reported age was said to be 152 years old, recorded in 1952. As benthivores, they feed on small invertebrates such as insect larvae, crayfish, snails, clams and leeches found along the bottom. As for spawning behaviors, female lake sturgeon may lay 4,000 to 7,000 eggs per pound of fish every 3-7 years with a preference to for rocky and boulder filled areas along the outside bend of rivers.  They are migratory and habitually return to spawn where they were born, covering long distances up rivers each spring. Migration can be problematic as sturgeon sturgeon populations are highly impacted by anthropogenic (human-made) effects (including pollution, dams and other structures, water flow changes, modification of spawning habitat). Sadly, they are currently endangered.

To help quantify sturgeon behavior, HTI acoustic tags have been used to track their fine-scale behavior and HTI echo sounders have been used for detecting direction of movement, swimming speed, time and date of passage, and target strength. Here are a few publications you might appreciate that detail such studies:

Downstream passage of lake sturgeon through a hydroelectric generating station: route determination, survival, and fine-scale movements

Assessment of lake sturgeon spawning stocks using fixed-location, split-beam SONAR technology

White sturgeon stocking and brood collection plan by Chelan Public Utilities District Natural Resources Department

Feasibility assessment of split-beam hydroacoustic techniques for monitoring adult shortnose sturgeon in the Delaware River