Current Status of Lake Sturgeon throughout North America

Monday, August 18, 2014
Exhibit Hall 400AB (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Kyle Bales , Department of Biology, Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, MO
Quinton Phelps , Big Rivers and Wetlands Field Station, Missouri Department of Conservation, Jackson, MO
Commercial overexploitation has detrimental effects on k-selected species such as lake sturgeon which, exhibit late age at maturation and periodic spawning. Habitat degradation such as the construction of dams, which impedes lake sturgeon from being able to reach desired spawning habitat, and channelization, that leads to disconnection with the floodplain, have also negatively affected lake sturgeon populations. These anthropogenic impacts have initiated declines in many lake sturgeon populations throughout their range. Because of these negative impacts on lake sturgeon populations many states have implemented recovery programs to ensure sustainability or rehabilitate this species. As such, the goal of our study is to compile information from each state and province within the historic range to understand the actions that each are undertaking to manage lake sturgeon populations. Based on the 26 states and 4 provinces that were surveyed, a majority have implemented stocking programs or initiated strict regulations to bolster the populations. We believe that the information compiled from this survey will provide additional insight into lake sturgeon populations throughout their range.