Scaphirhynchus Conference: Alabama, Pallid, and Shovelnose Sturgeon

St. Louis, Missouri, 11-13 January 2005

18.  COLLECTION EFFORTS FOR THE ALABAMA STURGEON (SCAPHIRHYNCHUS SUTTKUSI)

Steven J. Rider*, Alabama Division of Freshwater Fisheries, 64 N. Union Street, Suite 551, Montgomery, AL 36130; Phone 334-353-4399; FAX 334-242- 2061; srider@dcnr.state.al.us

Phillip L. Kilpatrick, Alabama Division of Freshwater Fisheries, Marion Fish Lab, RR 3 Box 85, Marion, AL 36756; Phone 334-683-6550; FAX 334-683-4289.

The Alabama sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus suttkusi) is a distinct species endemic to the Mobile Basin of Alabama and Mississippi.  It is the rarest of all Scaphirhynchus species and was Federally listed as endangered on May 2, 2000.  Intensive collection efforts have been conducted by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries since 1997 for the Alabama sturgeon in an attempt to provide viable specimens for propagation.  Collection efforts have been conducted in the Alabama River and Cahaba River using a variety of sampling gears such as: trot lines, gill nets, trammel nets, hoop nets, trap nets, and electrofishing boats.  A total of 13,939 fishes have been collected; however, only 5 were Alabama sturgeon.  Coupled with other surveys and from verified angler catches, only 10 specimens have been collected since 1993.