Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day Sturgeon Release!

As part of the Aquarium’s Earth Day celebrations, we released 35 lake sturgeon into the Tennessee River at Coolidge Park with the help of some enthusiastic students from Ivy Academy and UTC. 

While most of our sturgeon are released in the fall at only six to eight inches, these larger fish (up to 18 pounds!) were held for a longer time because we know that increases their chances of survival in the wild.  However, it takes more resources to hold them and they don't get as much time to learn how to be a wild fish, so we use both strategies for this program.  Even though they are six to seven years old, these fish are still juveniles—lake sturgeon don’t reach reproductive maturity until they are teenagers, just like humans.

How many cameras can you spot in this picture?  We're grateful for all the news stories we received.

Thanks to TWRA for their partnership and support!  Lyle and Dan drove down from the Normandy hatchery to transport the fish for us, and Bobby Wilson (Chief of Fisheries) and Jason came down from Nashville to join the fun.

It's always nice to see the next generation of conservation biologists join us on the river for Earth Day!

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