August 2009 - July 2014
- Columbia Environmental Research Center
2. Population Viability Analyses (PVA) are used on many fish populations to manage their recovery or maintenance. The models contain parameters for each age class that include number of individuals, probability of survival to next age class, reproductive rate, etc. Using the model, future population trends and most critical model parameters can be predicted. Wildhaber et al. (2007) presented a conceptual life-history model for pallid and shovelnose sturgeon that demonstrates how the transition (i.e., survival) probabilities of the various life stages of these sturgeons determines their population structure. Concurrently, Bajer and Wildhaber (2007) developed initial age-structured models for shovelnose and pallid sturgeon populations in the Lower Missouri River (LMOR). These models are based on the current state of knowledge for these sturgeon species. Thus, these age-structured models are based on critical assumptions, key of which are survival estimates. The purpose of the proposed research is to further develop and improve the age-structured demographic models for pallid sturgeons and their surrogate developed by Bajer and Wildhaber (2007) by developing better survival and population estimates with separate estimates for wild and stocked pallid sturgeon, as suggested during the most recent sturgeon research workshop (Bergman et al. 2008).