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2010 St. Lawrence River Lake Sturgeon Egg Take

Picture of taking lake sturgeon eggs.

Region 6 Fisheries conducted a lake sturgeon egg take on June 3rd in the St. Lawrence River. Lake sturgeon are listed as Threatened in New York State and have been the subject of a statewide restoration program since the early 1990's. The objective of this project is to bolster populations in the Upper St. Lawrence River and Eastern Lake Ontario.

A total of 126 lake sturgeon were collected over four days using large mesh gill nets (Net hours =276, CPUE = 0.5 fish/hr). Sturgeon were measured, weighed, scanned for previously implanted Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags and assessed for sexual maturity. All fish were processed and received either a PIT tag in order to identify fish in the future. One fish collected had been previously tagged in 1996 and was collected at the same location. Three fish were recaptured from the 2009 event, including one male utilized for egg fertilization.

A total of twelve fish were held in re-circulating tanks on secure New York Power Authority property adjacent to the river. Three of the fish collected were egg bearing females (weight range 25.3-44.7 lbs.), while the remaining nine fish held were ripe males (weight range 17.6-32.6 lbs). Fish were held for several days and injected with hormones to synchronize the spawning event. The egg take provided approximately 130,000 eggs, unfortunately problems in initial egg development led to total egg mortality. While the egg take itself produced no offspring, data collected from these fish will be invaluable for future efforts.

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