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

Collier, W., P.W. Bettoli., and G.D. Scholten. 2012. Dispersal and Dam Passage of Sonic-tagged Juvenile Lake Sturgeon in the Upper Tennessee River. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Assocaition of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 65 (2011):143-147.


More than 90,000 state-endangered lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens have been stocked into the French Broad River, Holston River, and Fort Loudon Lake in the upper Tennessee River system. Submersible ultrasonic receivers (n=7) were deployed in the upper Tennessee River system in the fall of 2007 and juvenile fish (n=37; mean fork length = 660 mm) were surgically implanted with ultrasonic transmitters (18-month life spans) and stocked at two sites in the headwaters of Fort Loudon Lake. The receivers logged 1,345 detections and manual tracking detected 32 of the 37 tagged lake sturgeon over 21 months. Ten (31%) tagged fish passed through Fort Loudon Dam and were detected downstream in the headwaters of Watts Bar Lake; the other tagged were still at large above Fort Loudon Dam when tracking ceased in 2009. Of all fish stocked, three (9%) were last located in the French Broad River (September 2008) and none were located in the Holston River.