Students from Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy and Girls Preparatory School will join a group of scientists from the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute and representatives from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency in Coolidge Park in downtown Chattanooga to release 89 Lake Sturgeon into the Tennessee River on Wednesday.
The public is invited to observe this release, which will begin around 4 p.m. EDT.
These juvenile fish measure about 15 inches long, more than double the size of the ones typically released by the Aquarium and its conservation partners. They were held for longer at the Aquarium to better understand any potential effects of using tracking tags to monitor their movement after release.
Since the formation of the Lake Sturgeon Working Group in 1998, more than 220,000 Lake Sturgeon have been released into the Tennessee, Cumberland and French Broad rivers. These fish, which are listed as endangered in Tennessee and 18 other states, once thrived in these waterways but all but disappeared in the 1970s due to overfishing, low water quality and man-made alterations to the waterway.
You can learn more about this species and the Aquarium’s work to conserve it by going here.
Lake Sturgeon are listed as “Endangered” in Tennessee and may not be harvested, but anglers play a key role in monitoring Lake Sturgeon populations. To report a Lake Sturgeon catch, go here.