Off Season Report

A few weeks ago, our spring tagging season came to an end. We tagged 44 Atlantic sturgeons this spring. A very successful field season, if I do say so myself. My focus now has switched to preparing for the fall tagging season and downloading/maintaining the receiver array. Downloading the receivers is always fun because that is when I get to see if any of the tagged sturgeon have swam past. So far, I have had 5 fish that were tagged in the James enter the York River, one even briefly entered the Mattaponi River.

sturgeon_bckroe

6 ft. Atlantic sturgeon washed up on Buckroe Beach. Sorry for the blurry picture, it was too sunny for me to notice the lens was smudged.

Another facet of my job, which is not as enjoyable, but necessary, is to examine dead sturgeons that wash up on shore. Today, I spent my morning at Buckroe Beach examining a 6 ft sturgeon. Unfortunately, the fish was too decomposed to get a definitive cause of death, but I was able to record morphometrics (lengths) and get a fin clip for genetic analyses. If you see a recently dead sturgeon, (if it is too decomposed, there is nothing for me to do) you can report it by either emailing me (patm@vims.edu) or call (804-684-7863). And don’t forget to keep your eyes out for breaches, which can be reported via our online reporting page (http://www.vims.edu/research/topics/sturgeon/breaching/index.php).