I have tried a few times this spring to give you an idea of how busy Nebraska fisheries workers are at this time of year. One of the largest efforts we have every spring is the collection of endangered pallid sturgeon from the Missouri River. The goal of that effort is to collect reproductive pallid sturgeon adults, broodstock, that then can be used to produce small pallid sturgeon for re-introduction/re-stocking. Here, just read this year’s newsletter for details:
For a cleaner version of the newsletter, here is the .pdf, Pallid Sturgeon 2017_Broodstock_Newsletter.
Be sure to check out the FaceBook page for the latest updates and more, NGPC Pallid Sturgeon Broodstock.
Speaking of the FaceBook page, I like to spend some time looking at pictures there; there are a bunch of them. I will feature a few here, now you know where they came from. The pallid sturgeon are caught on baited trot-lines each spring. A trot-line is a long line with a series of hooks. Each hook is baited with a nightcrawler. That is why you will see the statistics about miles of trot-lines and miles of nightcrawlers used in this year’s effort. Those baited trot-lines catch a variety of species of fish, not just pallid sturgeon. As I said, take a look at the FaceBook pictures, there are a lot of interesting Missouri River fish posted there.
Pallid sturgeon are a predator fish, wonder if they suck food off the bottom?
If you have watched Wicked Tuna or Deadliest Catch, you know for the sake of safety, well-being, and of course, successful fishing, every crew has its traditions that must be upheld! On the Missouri River, during the collection of pallid sturgeon brood stock, the eating of the ceremonial nightcrawlers by greenhorns is paramount.
Apparently, kissing fish has become a Missouri River pallid sturgeon crew tradition as well?
The other thing you will notice if you check out the FaceBook page and the photos there, is that when the fish are spawning the work must go on! There are no breaks because the Nebraska wind might be blowing or it might be a little cold and nasty. The newsletter includes a list of volunteers that aid us in this effort every spring and those folks go on the water on the day they volunteered no matter what! A big THANK YOU to all of them for helping! Again I will say it, we could not get this done without the help of our great volunteers!
That’s the large and small of it, look closer at the newsletter for more!