Re: NANFA-- dwarf sturgeon
Mon, 16 Dec 2002 00:27:47 EST

In a message dated 12/15/02 6:21:48 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

> So the first question to be answered about the possible "refuge stocking"
> Pseudoscaphirhynchus hermanni is, Will their life history requirements be
> fulfilled? Not much is known about P. hermanni except that it's
> potamodromous, i.e., spawning site is often just below major rapids or
> barrier to migration, while juveniles & adults forage in riverine reaches
> downstream of the spawning site.

Would a "small mountain river" be
> sufficient for P. hermanni? (I don't know; I'm just exploring the issue.)
The River I have in mind (the Poca River) does indeed have head water rapids,
no species of sturgeon currently present. It is a long river ending in the
Kanawha River in West Virginia.
> It may be possible (again, I don't know) that P. hermanni has ecological
> requirements similar to the closely related Scaphirhynchus sturgeons of the
> Mississipppi Basin. If so, would release of P. hermanni into the
> Basin adversely effect the native sturgeons?
Good question, as far as I know no sturgeons have lived in the Poca River at
least none have been reported from there.
> I don't pretend to have all the answers here. I'm just summarizing some of
> the factors that need to be considered before any "refuge stocking" takes
> place.
> Finally, does P. hermanni still exist? Last I read is that 3 were caught in
> 1996.
the researcher I have been talking to says they are still present but not
reproducing. He has several live specimens he is studying.

The Poca River starts out as a mountain stream becomes big enough to support
flathead catfish and muskies is characterized by long deep stretches of water
with short shallow riffles between the deep holes. Near it's end it becomes a
deep slow tributary of the Kanawha River. Pollution from gas wells and other
humans sources almost killed the river 35 years ago but it is coming back but
most of the fish are the typical bluegill/bass introductions. The gas wells
released huge amounts of brine and silt which forever changed the river. the
main question is would the P. hermanni compete with native sturgeons. The
shovelnose sturgeon is the only sturgeon likely to be found in the area and
it is usually confined to the Ohio River and is very rare due to over fishing
and pollution.
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