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Sturgeon Population Recovering In Hudson

The Atlantic sturgeon is showing signs of population recovery.
The Atlantic sturgeon is showing signs of population recovery. Photo Credit: Tina Traster

ORANGETOWN, N.Y. -- The Atlantic sturgeon is showing signs for population recovery after a recent joint federal and state survey, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

"Juvenile Atlantic sturgeon are at the highest level recorded in the Hudson River in the last 10 years. These survey results are an encouraging sign for the recovery of Atlantic sturgeon," said Basil Seggos, acting commissioner of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. "We are cautiously optimistic that, with our continued vigilance and efforts to protect this species, Atlantic sturgeon will have a secure future."

The Atlantic sturgeon were overfished in the late 1980s and early 1990s to the point that the fish could not replenish themselves. A harvest moratorium was implemented in 1996 and a 40-year coast-wide moratorium followed two years later.

Since the Atlantic sturgeon begin to spawn at 10 to 20 years old and live up to 60 years, recovery signs were expected to come at a slow pace.

Threats remain for the Atlantic sturgeon, however, due to factors including accidental mortality during the harvesting of other fish, vessel strikes, and habitat degradation.

The DEC reports that evidence does not support the construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge as being the cause of the increased number of reported sturgeon mortality due to the wide geographic spread of said reports.

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