Eight Atlantic Sturgeon Tagged, Released in Eastern Shore Waters
Eight adult Atlantic sturgeon, an endangered species, have been found, tagged and released in an Eastern Shore tributary of the Chesapeake, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The DNR says this is the first time in more than 40 years that mature female sturgeon have been documented in Maryland upstream habitats. According to the DNR, since 2012, fishermen have reported sturgeon jumping in Marshyhope Creek, a tributary to the Nanticoke River. “Now that sturgeon have been tagged in Marshyhope Creek, we can document information about their movements within this system and the Bay for years to come,” Stence said. “This will give us a better understanding of the Atlantic sturgeon’s status in Maryland.”
The first catches, made on August 27, were a 7-foot, 3-inch, 154-pound mature female and a 5-foot, 2-inch, 70-pound mature male, according to the DNR. Both were caught in the same net and placed under anesthesia in an oxygenated tank to collect data and tissue samples for DNA analysis. DNR biologists say they implanted acoustic transmitters, external tags and passive integrated transponder tags into the fish and then revived and released them back into the river. The entire process took 10 minutes. Since the initial first two sturgeon have been caught, six more have been and tagged.