Thomas L. Litts

Mapping Potential Spawning Substrate for Shortnose and Atlantic Sturgeon in Coastal Plain Rivers of Georgia Using Low-cost Side-scan Sonar

SEAFWA Journal Volume 3, March 2016

Characterizing the habitat of large, navigable rivers is difficult, yet this information is critically important to the conservation of a variety of resident aquatic species. We used low-cost sonar habitat mapping to map benthic substrates throughout nearly 1000 km of four Coastal Plain rivers in Georgia and to quantify the distribution of rocky substrates that may serve as potential spawning habitat for two imperiled sturgeon species, the shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) and the Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus). Although we identified hard, rocky substrates in roughly...