We just wrapped up our annual Tennessee Lake Sturgeon Reintroduction Working Group meeting where all the working group partners convene to discuss strategies, ideas, solve problems, and report on their programs' successes as we work to reintroduce lake sturgeon into the Tennessee Rivers. The Saving Our Sturgeon program is now in its second decade and we've released 108,785 fish into the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems. In 2010 alone, Saving Our Sturgeon partner organizations released 16,806 lake sturgeon in the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers- over 3,200 of which came from TNACI!
A number of agencies were represented at today's meeting including US Fish & Wildlife, TWRA, TVA, USGS, TTU, and TNACI. Georgia DNR has a similar program to restore the lake sturgeon population in the Coosa River system and they sent representatives to compare notes and share ideas.
During the meeting each agency gave a quick overview of the past year's activities. We also discussed future stocking plans, some outreach and education events, and an increased focus on monitoring fish once they are released. Future stocking efforts will likely include emphasis on releasing bigger fish. To release bigger fish, hatcheries must invest more money, space, and labor, but we think the extra investment will pay off in the long run with higher survival rates.