Sturgeon and Paddlefish possess life history characteristics that pose both challenges and advantages to management in the face of anthropogenically-mediated ecosystem perturbations. These species are iteroparous and highly fecund, but exhibit delayed sexual maturity and long generation lengths which effectively slow the rate of genetic adaptation in response to changed conditions. Natural recruitment is negatively impacted by altered habitat and associated changes to the historically-reliable environmental cues that once successfully directed critical life events. Dams and other fish passage impediments reduce the quality and quantity of accessible spawning habitats and serve to fragment populations, thereby reducing gene flow and lessening the populations’ resilience. Management efforts are also impeded by an ever-evolving spectrum of social, economic, and environmental constraints. This symposium will draw attention to emerging threats and challenges broadly impacting sturgeon and paddlefish species across their range and will highlight the implementation of innovative adaptive management strategies.
- North American Sturgeon and Paddlefish Society
- Kim Scribner, Michigan State University, [email protected]
- Jennifer Johnson, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
- Laura Heironimus, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Ken Lepla, Idaho Power Company
- Douglas Larson, Michigan State University
- Jason D. Schooley, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation