Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Georgia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Georgia Project


Movement and distribution of Lake Sturgeon in the Coosa River

January 2022 - May 2024


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • USFWS GA Ecological Science Office
  • GA CRU Partners

Efforts to restore Lake Sturgeon to northwest Georgia began nearly 20 years ago. These large prehistoric fish were historically present in the Coosa River basin but were thought to be extirpated by the late 1970s due to overfishing and degraded water quality. Following improvements in water quality via the Clean Water Act of 1972, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources commenced a Lake Sturgeon reintroduction program that included annual stocking of fish with the goal of producing a self-sustaining population. The initial cohorts have theoretically reached sexual maturity.

The specific objective of this study is to determine seasonal habitat use and movement of Lake Sturgeon in the Coosa River basin. New information about reproductive status and behaviors, movement, and habitat use will aid in recovery efforts and inform managers on the status of the population.

This project will use radio telemetry to track Lake Sturgeon movements. We anticipate targeting 40 Lake Sturgeon for tagging.