About 500 baby Lake Sturgeon raised at the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute this year will be returned to their ancestral waters. Since 2000, the Aquarium and its conservation partners have collaboratively raised and reintroduced more than 220,000 of these “living fossils” into the waters from which they had all but disappeared by the 1970s because of human activity. Counting this event, aquarium staff will have released about 1,700 Lake Sturgeon in 2019.
During the event, members of the public will be invited to personally release some of the sturgeon. Each fish released will contribute to long-term conservation efforts for this species, which can reach lengths of eight feet and boast lifespans of more than 150 years.
“I am excited to get the public involved and raise awareness about Lake Sturgeon recovery,” says Tennessee Aquarium Reintroduction Biologist Meredith Harris. “Hopefully, this hands-on experience with such a cool and important fish will foster an interest in native fish conservation in our youth a well.”
Each of the fish has been gently marked with a tiny coded wire tag that will assist researchers in monitoring the movement and robustness of the species as it navigates the river system.
The event will be held Saturday, October 12, 2019 at noon at the Ladd Park Boat Ramp on North Kentucky Street in Kingston