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Atlantic Sturgeon May Have Resumed Spawning In Delaware River - Philly Inquirer

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:45 PM
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Atlantic Sturgeon May Have Resumed Spawning In Delaware River - Philly Inquirer
Biologist Matt Fisher was hauling in a research net in the Delaware River near Wilmington recently when he spotted a tiny fish that all but made his heart stop. It was a young Atlantic sturgeon, most likely hatched last spring. Just seven inches long and weighing less than an ounce, it was nevertheless a momentous discovery - long-awaited proof that the species was spawning in the Delaware.

"This is a very significant finding," said Lisa Calvo, a Rutgers marine biologist who also heads the nonprofit Seaboard Fisheries Institute, formed to study the sturgeon. "This could mean there's still a population to rescue."

The fish, a strange-looking remnant from the age of the dinosaur, was once the basis of a thriving caviar industry on the Delaware, the nation's largest. In the late 1800s, the river swarmed with boats and nets during spawning season, the shores were lined with cleaning stations. Then, largely because of overfishing and pollution, the population of Atlantic sturgeon plummeted to near-extinction in the early 1900s.

EDIT

At a sturgeon symposium in February, some researchers said they suspected there was no longer a distinct population in the Delaware. Any sturgeon there were probably outlanders from the Hudson. But from older fish carcasses, researchers know the genetic fingerprint of the Delaware fish. Fisher is hoping this one is a descendant. Overall, Fisher's big catch says important things about the Delaware. Sturgeon are considered emblematic of a healthy environment, and "a waterway that has thriving sturgeon populations is probably doing pretty good," said another researcher, Hal Brundage, with Environmental Research & Consulting Inc., based in Kennett Square.

EDIT

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/health_science/daily/200...
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:48 PM
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1. Where the babies can be eaten by invasive snake fish???
Just wondering
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