Diadromous Fish Research

Image of prey items found in samples
Example of prey items found in
Photo by B. Post, SCDNR

Sturgeon Diet Study

SCDNR, with funding assistance from the National Marine Fisheries Service, is conducting a diet study on sturgeon caught in our coastal rivers.

Sampling is conducted in various rivers and lake systems using gill and trammel nets. Once sturgeons are captured, they are sedated and their stomach pumped. This procedure (gastric lavage) is carried out by essentially flooding the stomach cavity with water to allow prey items to dislodge and be caught by a sieve. This research is performed year round and on all sizes of sturgeon (juveniles to adults).

Image of sturgeon undergoing gastric lavage procedure
Sturgeon undergoing gastric lavage
Photo by A. Hazel, SCDNR

Diet results so far indicate sturgeons in S.C. feed on invertebrate worms (mainly polychaetes), amphipods, and mayfly larvae.

Image of sturgeon undergoing gastric lavage procedure
Gastric lavage procedure being
preformed on a sturgeon.
Photo by K. Aman, SCDNR