Enhancing the Success of Streamside Culture for Lake Sturgeon

Tuesday, August 19, 2014: 10:50 AM
206A (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
John Bauman , Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Streamside hatchery facilities, which expose cultured eggs and young fish to beneficial cues believed to be associated with imprinting, are a preferred culture technique for lake sturgeon rehabilitation in the Great Lakes region.  There are currently seven streamside facilities raising and stocking lake sturgeon in the Great Lakes. These facilities are managed by five different agencies and have been in operation for nearly a decade.  However, production from streamside facilities has been inconsistent producing variable and below-target results which has prompted managers to identify temporal sources of mortality and reevaluate current rearing techniques.  Significant mortality (>70%) is documented to occur during early life periods, namely the free-embryo and larval periods. In spring 2013, we utilized multiple full-sibling families reared in 3.0 L aquaria to quantify the effect of density and feeding intervals on the growth and survivorship of newly-hatched lake sturgeon in a streamside facility.  Based on results from this study, recommendations we provide to Great Lakes streamside facility managers will standardize current rearing and feeding procedures, improve growth and survival, and help streamside facility operators meet stocking targets.