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 and UTC. Ivy Academy
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.
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!