Movement of Shortnose Sturgeon in the Upper Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Little published information exists on shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) in the Chesapeake Bay. During a reward program for Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus), 32 shortnose sturgeon were captured in the Chesapeake Bay and reported by commercial watermen between January 1996 and January 2000. Thirteen of the 32 shortnose sturgeon were sonically tagged, and 6 of these telemetered individuals were tracked during daylight hours within the upper Chesapeake Bay. The distance (km) and time (days) between consecutive relocations were use to estimate movement rates as km/day. Localized and wandering movements of telemetered shortnose sturgeon were observed within the upper Chesapeake Bay based on extended time intervals between relocations, but individuals were rarely relocated on consecutive days. Telemetered shortnose sturgeon were generally relocated in areas that exceeded the average available water depth. These data not only provide information on movements, but also depict areas used by shortnose sturgeon and may be useful for understanding potential impacts of habitat alterations in the upper Chesapeake Bay.

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