OHIO CONTINUES RESTORATION OF SHOVELNOSE STURGEON
COLUMBUS, OH – Approximately 4,000 shovelnose sturgeon, an Ohio endangered species that, prior to reintroduction, was last seen in Ohio in 1957, will be released into the Scioto River as part of an ongoing restoration effort at the Elmon Richards Scioto River Access on U.S. Route 22 in Pickaway County on Thursday, September 27 at 11:00 a.m., according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The fish being released were raised at the Kincaid State Fish Hatchery. Funding for the program comes from contributions to the Division of Wildlife’s Wildlife Diversity & Endangered Species Fund.
Shovelnose sturgeons were once common in the Ohio River and lower sections of its larger tributaries, and are still common in other states downstream from Ohio. The shovelnose is a large-river species that prefers fast chutes and riffles.
The decline of the species began early last century when many dams were constructed, which blocked access to spawning areas and eliminated their preferred habitat. Pollution also caused problems by impacting water quality and consequently the sturgeons’ primary food sources – mollusks, snails, and aquatic insects.
Some individuals shovelnose sturgeon may live to be 40 years old or more. Males generally do not spawn until they are five years old and females usually do not spawn until they are seven years old. They reach weights of five to six pounds.
Anglers are encouraged to report any catches or observations of shovelnose sturgeon in the Scioto River to the Division of Wildlife at 614-644-3925. Because of their endangered status, all sturgeon caught while fishing must be released immediately.