Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 16

University of Georgia graduate
students Matt Phillips and
Savannah Perry conduct
research on lake sturgeon
in the Coosa River.
A fish tale
L
ake sturgeon are long, slender, freshwater fish that can live
more than 100 years and weigh more than 100 pounds.
The species dates back to when dinosaurs reigned.
" They're sort of like an ancient dinosaur-or swimming
dinosaurs, we like to call them, " says Marty Hamel, associate
professor of fisheries management and ecology at the University
of Georgia's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
in Athens.
But despite their long history, lake sturgeon were
completely wiped out of the Coosa River basin in northwest
Georgia in the span of a single human generation.
Doug Aloisi, manager at Genoa National Fish Hatchery in
Genoa, Wis., says lake sturgeon are considered " a threatened
or a species of concern in 19 out of 20 states [where they are
found]. "
16 Georgia Magazine March 2023
Tremendous cooperative eff ort brings lake sturgeon back to Coosa River
By Katie Teems Norris
The Georgia lake sturgeon disappeared in the 1970s before
the passage of the Clean Water Act. Factors such as pollution,
overharvest and outdated dams that block fish migration all
contributed to the species' decline, starting in the 19th century.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has
been leading the program to re-establish Georgia lake sturgeon
for 20 years. Restoring the species means overcoming many
challenges. While lake sturgeon are long-lived, the females
sexually mature at 14 to 23 years of age and spawn only every
seven to nine years.
Even today, outdated dams still pose a potential threat to
the species' long-term sustainability. The fish must migrate up
the river to spawning grounds, but, unlike modern dams that
have fish ladders to allow fish to swim upstream, these older
dams are stopping their path.
COURTESY MATT PHILLIPS

Georgia Magazine - March 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - March 2023

Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 4
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 5
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 6
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 7
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 8
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 9
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 10
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 11
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 12
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 13
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 14
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 15
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 16
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 17
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 18
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 19
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 20
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 21
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Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 23
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 24
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Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 38
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Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 42
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - Cover4
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