Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 18

John Damer, senior fi sheries biologist with the Georgia
Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources
Division, says that eff orts to stock lake sturgeon in the
Coosa River are beginning to show results.
He explains that the fingerlings must be fed three to four
times during the day and a couple more times at night.
As juvenile fish at a hatchery, sturgeon eat a combination of
bloodworms and Rangen brand feed.
" You actually have to come back and stir the water and get
the food suspended in the water column " to encourage the fish
to eat, Savarese says.
The fish tanks need to be cleaned after each feeding. The
process repeats nearly every two hours until the fish reach about
5 inches long.
" Once they reach a certain size, I describe them as tanks,
because they're just strong, " Savarese says.
Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery, the Go Fish
Education Center and the Georgia DNR's Summerville
Hatchery all raise lake sturgeon.
" The combination of all those sources has allowed us
to stock a decent number of fish into the system over the last
20-plus years, and now the fruits of those efforts are starting to
show, " Damer says.
Out in the wild
During a survey last spring, Hamel says his team of
graduate researchers caught the first known reproductively
mature female lake sturgeon in the Southeast.
After hatcheries and the Georgia DNR stock fish in the
Coosa River basin, Hamel and his graduate students survey
the fish by surgically implanting radio telemetry tags into the
sturgeon they catch. These small tags have specific radio
frequencies that register on the researchers' radio antennae
as they float down the river. There also are six passive receiver
stations that record the movements of the fish.
" We're really just trying to track to see if there's differences
in the habitat they use and how they move at different times of
the year, " Hamel says.
18 Georgia Magazine March 2023
Time will tell if the sturgeon will be able to spawn successfully
in the wild.
" Lake sturgeon will use a coarse-gravel rock substrate for
spawning. Below dams, usually, there is a lot of that type of habitat, "
Hamel says. " We just have to figure out if that's going to be
high enough quality or sufficient for them to successfully spawn. "
Damer says evidence of successful natural reproduction " is
either finding eggs or young fish that aren't from our stocking
events, so that will be coming up in the next few years. "
Aloisi says these efforts are aimed at providing a strong
foundation for the species' survival in nature.
" We like to call lake sturgeon our legacy fish, because it's
basically an opportunity to do something that's going to last a
whole lot longer than any of our careers will last, " he says.
Katie Teems Norris is a New Mexico-based freelance writer
and communications professional.
How you can help
* If you see groups of lake sturgeon congregating or splashing
around in shallow water along banks, they may be spawning.
Please report this activity, along with the location, to the Georgia
DNR Wildlife Resources Division by calling (706) 557-3333 or
going online to gadnr.org/sendemail.
* Visit adoptastream.georgia.gov to learn how you can protect
your local waterways. You also can help conservation and
wildlife-protection eff orts by purchasing a fi shing license for $15.
* If you catch a lake sturgeon, release the fi sh back into its
habitat. You can take a quick photo of your catch and tag
@WildlifeResourcesDivisionGADNR on Facebook and
@georgiawildlife on Instagram.
* Visit the Go Fish Education Center to learn more about lake
sturgeon and to see them at a hatchery. For more information,
see gofi sheducationcenter.com.
COURTESY GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
http://www.gadnr.org/sendemail http://adoptastream.georgia.gov https://fb.com/WildlifeResourcesDivisionGADNR https://www.instagram.com/georgiawildlife https://gofisheducationcenter.com

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
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 22
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 23
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 24
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 25
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 26
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 27
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 28
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 29
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 30
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 31
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 32
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 33
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 34
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 35
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 36
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 37
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 38
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 39
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 40
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 41
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - 42
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - March 2023 - Cover4
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