Lake sturgeon were historically abundant in the Great Lakes, but are currently listed as endangered, threatened, or as a species of conservation concern by multiple agencies. Rehabilitation plans have been developed for Great Lakes lake sturgeon; stocking is a significant component of these plans. Assessments of habitat use and dispersal for early life stages, evaluation of the most suitable life stages for stocking and methods for differentiating stocked from wild fish have been identified as important research needs to support lake sturgeon rehabilitation. Tracking fish dispersal and evaluating stocking success require appropriate tagging methods, but previously applied tags are limited in their applicability to early life stages or do not provide the possibility for multiple differentiating marks. The goals of this project are to develop a technique for marking age- lake sturgeon pectoral fin rays with stable strontium isotopes (86Sr/88Sr) and to evaluate retention of stable isotopic marks. The ability to impart multiple differentiating batch marks to lake sturgeon fry that can be recovered non-lethally will facilitate future assessments of stocking success and stocked fish dispersal and habitat use.
DEVELOPMENT OF STABLE ISOTOPE MARKING TECHNIQUES FOR EARLY LIFE STAGES OF LAKE STURGEON
Scope of Study
Scale of Phenomena
Surveillance and Monitoring