Lake sturgeon, the largest fish in the Great Lakes, grow over 7 feet and 300 pounds, and can live over 100 years. In Pennsylvania they are a state endangered species. Presently, sturgeon spawn in the Niagara River and St. Clair River systems but historical records imply lake sturgeon also spawned in shoal habitats along Erie County, Pennsylvania. Existing sturgeon spawning grounds in the Niagara River and St. Clair River systems show that these two populations cannot be genetically distinguished. The goal of this study is to collect lake sturgeon in the PA Lake Erie watershed so that tissue can be collected for genetic analysis to determine if an Erie Population is unique or part of the Niagara/St Clair population. In addition, benthic sediment samples will be used to determine if Pennsylvania has habitat that can sustain shoal spawning populations.
Jeanette Schnars jeanette@RegSciConsort.com