Dakota Midday: New Research Explains Endangered Pallid Sturgeon Decline

Jan 29, 2015

Weighing up to 80 pounds and growing up to a length of six feet, the pallid sturgeon is one of the largest fresh water fish species in North America. It can also live 50 years or more. But even though pallid sturgeon come from a genetic line going back tens of millions of years, it’s been decades since there has been documentation of the large fish successfully producing young that survive into adulthood on the upper Missouri River basin. The pallid sturgeon was placed on the endangered species list 25 years ago.

Pallid sturgeon
Credit Photo by Ken Bouc; Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

A new paper published in the journal, Fisheries, explains why pallid sturgeon in the Missouri have been declining. The lead author on the paper is Christopher Guy, assistant unit leader with the USGS Montana Cooperative Fishery Unit and professor at Montana State University. He joined Dakota Midday and explained why the finding is significant and what it means for conservation efforts.