Migratory Behavior of Green Sturgeon Revealed by Acoustic Tagging

Fisheries Ecology Division scientist Steve Lindley and colleagues have published a paper describing extensive migrations of green sturgeon through the coastal waters between California and southeast Alaska.

Green sturgeon were tagged with acoustic pingers and their movements monitored by arrays of hydrophones along the west coast of North America. The researchers found that many green sturgeon undertake extensive seasonal migrations, spending summers in southern areas and winters off British Columbia. This pattern of movement is quite unusual among migratory animals, which typically overwinter at lower latitudes and spend summers at higher latitudes. The results indicate that southern DPS green sturgeon, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act, may be impacted by activities far from their spawning river, such as Canadian bottom trawl fisheries.

The paper appears in the Transactions of the American Fisheries Society (Vol. 137: 182-194; DOI: 10.1577/T07-055.1).

(January 11, 2008)