Documentation of a Gulf sturgeon spawning site on the Yellow River, Alabama, USA

Gulf and Caribbean Research
By: , and 



The Gulf Sturgeon Recovery Plan (USFWS, GSMFC and NMFS 1995) stressed the need to provide maximum protection to Gulf sturgeon spawning habitat. The approach employed by various Gulf sturgeon researchers, including ourselves, to document spawning has been to identify potential spawning habitat on the basis of physical characteristics and/or tracking data, collect eggs, and then raise the eggs in the laboratory until the point where the larval fish can be identified (e.g., Marchant and Shutters 1996, Sulak and Clugston 1998, 1999). However, collecting eggs in any appreciable number is usually difficult, and these eggs may not always be viable upon return to the laboratory. Molecular methods provide an alternative means of identifying the species represented by an egg. Notable examples related to sturgeon conservation include cases where molecular markers were used to verify the sources of commercially available caviar (DeSalle and Birstein 1996, Birstein et al. 1999).

Parauka and Giorgianni (2002) reported that potential Gulf sturgeon spawning habitat is present in the Yellow River; however, efforts to document spawning by the collection of eggs or larvae have been unsuccessful in the past. Herein, we report on the first successful collection of eggs from a potential spawning site on the Yellow River and the verification of their identity as Gulf sturgeon by using molecular methods.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Documentation of a Gulf sturgeon spawning site on the Yellow River, Alabama, USA
Series title Gulf and Caribbean Research
DOI 10.18785/gcr.2001.13
Volume 20
Issue 1
Year Published 2008
Language English
Publisher University of Southern Mississippi
Contributing office(s) Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description 5 p.
First page 91
Last page 95
Country United States
State Alabama, Florida
Other Geospatial Yellow River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details