Diadromous Fish Research

Baby sturgeon image
Juvenile sturgeon.
Photo by C. Norwood, SCDNR

Sturgeon Sampling

Image of Sturgeon found along the SC coast
Sturgeon native to South Carolina:
Top - Shortnose (Acipenser brevirostrum)
Bottom - Atlantic (Acipenser oxyrinchus)

Two species of sturgeons occur along the Atlantic coast of the United States: the endangered shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) and the much larger Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus). Despite their economic value (because they are the source of caviar) and depressed populations, relatively little is known about the biology of these species, especially in the southeast.

Image of field crew fishing with drift gill net
Field crew fishing drift gill net.
Photo by C. Norwood, SCDNR

SCDNR, with funding assistance from the National Marine Fisheries Service, is currently conducting a sampling survey of sturgeon in South Carolina's coastal rivers. Samples from this effort are being used to conduct a diet study and a genetic comparison of fish from various river systems. In addition, SCDNR continues to conduct standardized sampling of both species to determine long-term abundance trends.