This web page contains information from the 2009 Gulf Sturgeon Working Group Annual Meeting 

A key output from this meeting was the development and presentation of the first stock assessment

for Gulf sturgeon. 

The 2009 Gulf sturgeon stock assessment and associated example data and computer code files are available here.

A key outcome from this assessment is a new effort led by NMFS and USFWS to estimate natural mortality rate using a large scale telemetry array.  This assessment will continue to be revised as new data and funding become available.

The 2009 meeting info and more Gulf sturgeon information is below.  The 2010 meeting will be held in Louisiana sometime the week before Thanksgiving.

The purpose of this webpage is to provide information for the 2009 Gulf Sturgeon Working Group annual meeting.  This year the meeting will be hosted by USGS-FISC, NOAA-Fisheries, and the University of Florida.  The meeting is tentatively scheduled for November 17-19, 2009 at the Cedar Key Community Center in Cedar Key, Florida.  This year Day 1 of the meeting will be devoted to the ongoing Gulf sturgeon stock assessment including reviews of the assessment from outside experts.  Day 2 will include the general session in the morning with presentations from each basin state and agency.  Day 3 will special presentations and optional field trips.  Of course, socials will be held Tuesday and Wednesday night to provide plenty of opportunity for informal discussions.

REGISTRATION FORM now available!


Review materials and software for the workshop


Tuesday November 17 Stock assessment workshop   

8:00 AM - 8: 30 AM Registration - Cedar Key Community Center          

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Welcome and update on the Gulf sturgeon status review - Steph Bolden, NMFS

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM An assessment of the status and trends in Gulf sturgeon populations: On the road to recovery?

Bill Pine Univ of Florida and Steve Martell Univ of British Columbia

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM BREAK

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Stock assessment workshop and panel discussion -

The most recent Gulf sturgeon stock assessment results, methodologies, short comings, and future work will be discussed by an invited panel. 

Confirmed panel members include Joe Hightower, Carl Walters, Dewayne Fox, Yetta Jager, Katherine Zehfuss, Steve Martell, and invited panelist from

NMFS.  Key discussion points will include evaluating assessment uncertainty, identifying data gaps, and assessing feasibility of alternative analyses. 

Can we model our way out of this?

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM LUNCH provided at Cedar Key Community Center

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM How can assessment results aid in revising ESA Recovery Criteria?   

This is discussion will focus on how the assessment results relate to the current recovery criteria

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM BREAK

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM How can assessment results aid in revising ESA Recovery Criteria?  (continued)

Discussion will focus on "what do we know now we wish we had known then", keys to success (?), and pitfalls to try and avoid.

 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Social and Dinner food provided by Island Room Restaurant

Dinner and social at the Cedar Key Community Center

Wednesday November 18  Gulf sturgeon working group presentations - Current and planned research, unique observations, and research  needs

8:00 AM - 8: 30 AM Registration - Cedar Key Community Center    

8:30 AM - 9:45  AM - Florida

Ann Foster, USGS Mapping Atlantic shortnose sturgeon habitat along the US Atlantic coast

Mike Randall, USGS Gulf sturgeon habitat use in Suwannee River

Frank Parauka, USFWS Update on Panama City Gulf sturgeon activities

Beth Wrege, Clemson Diel activity of Gulf of Mexico sturgeon in a NW FL Bay

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM - Break

10:15 AM - 11:40 AM Mississippi and points further west

Phil Kirk, ACOE, Feasibility of assessing YOY Gulf sturgeon by trawling

Jean-Marie Havrylkoff, USM, Gulf sturgoen in the Pascagoula: An Update

Mike Randall, USGS, Pearl River research activities

Glen Constant, Baton Rouge USFWS Conservation Office Update

11:40 AM Recent telemetry advances

Marlin Gregor, President, Sonotronics

11:00 AM - 11: 45 AM Florida - USFWS-Panama City and NMFS-Panama City

11:45 AM - 12:00 PM Morning session wrap up

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM LUNCH (on site)

1:20 PM - 2:15 PM Genetics special session

Brian Kreiser, USM, Starting a range-wide population genetics study of Gulf sturgeon - What are we going to do with 1200 fin clips

Jim Austin, Univ of FL, Sturgeon conservation in the age of genomics: Unraveling mating systems to detecting divergent selection + How many mums are there? Assessment of relatedness among Gulf sturgeon egg samples

2:15 PM - 2:45 PM BREAK

2: 45- 3:30 PM Synthesis of session: Identify common research needs, successes, and failures

6:00 Social - Snacks and beverages served at Far-A-Way patio

7:00 Dinner served @ Island Room Restaurant Banquet Room (next door to City Park, downtown)

Thursday November 19  New techniques, topics, tools, toys, and emerging issues

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Registration - Cedar Key Community Center 

8:35 AM - 9:00 AM Habitat influences on the viability of shortnose sturgeon in a coastal river, USA Yetta Jager

9:00 AM - 9:20 AM Atlantic sturgeon population assessments in coastal mid-Atlantic regions  - Dewayne Fox, Delaware State University

9:20 - 9:40 An application of Didson cameras and other acoustic technology for monitoring big river native fish in the Colorado River basin - Katherine Zehfuss, Bureau of Reclamation - Denver

9:40 AM - 10:00 AM Demonstration and preliminary comparison of Didson cameras and side-scan sonar for assessing sturgeon populations in coastal Carolina rivers - Joe Hightower and Jared Flowers, NC Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM BREAK

10:15 AM - 12:30 PM What can we learn from these talks in going forward? NMFS and USFWS lead discussion on status review and Recovery Plan


About Cedar Key

Cedar Key, Florida is a small town located on the Florida Gulf Coast approximately 2-hours north of Tampa, 60 miles west of Gainesville, and 15 miles south of the Suwannee River.  Historically Cedar Key was an important commercial fishing center for this region of Florida and today is the largest producer of farm-raised clams in the US.  Cedar Key is an eclectic community of fisherman, artists, and friendly people with about 800 full-time residents.  Fishing and kayaking around Cedar Key are excellent and group or individual outings can be scheduled if there is interest.  Guide suggestions are also available.  More information about Cedar Key including lodging information can be found at: http://www.cedarkey.org


There are numerous lodging options available in Cedar Key.  The Faraway Inn has proven popular for meeting attendees in the past as has the Beachfront Motel.  Both of these locations are aware of our meeting and have rooms that range from $60-100 per night.  Cedar Key is very small and you can walk to the meeting location and downtown area from anywhere on the island.  More lodging options are listed on the Chamber of Commerce page.  We can also recommend guides, birding tours, or other things to do on vacation.


All presentations should be 15 minutes in length with 5 minutes for questions. If you have a special topic that you would like to present that requires more time, just let us know and we will try and accommodate your needs.  All presentations should be saved as Adobe PDF files or Microsoft PowerPoint 2003-2007.  We will be using a standard Microsoft XP based laptop for all presentations with Office 2003 Suite with VISTA conversion packages installed.  Please save your files in Office 2003 format if possible. Please bring your presentation on a CD or jump drive.  All presentations will be loaded during morning registration for morning sessions or lunch for afternoon sessions.  More information will follow.


Registration costs prior to November 3 will be $75.00 with checks or cash as the only means of payment.  Registration after November 3 will be $85.  Single day registration is $25 per day.  Regular registration includes t-shirt and lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Late registration includes lunch and possibly a t-shirt (if available).  The Tuesday night social will feature a Cedar Key seafood boil with local clams, shrimp, sides, and desert all prepared by the Island Room.  Cost for this meal is $20 all inclusive.  The Wednesday social is still being planned, but target cost is $15 per person all inclusive.  More information will be provided when it is available.  Registration form can be downloaded here

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T-shirts will be long sleeve white with black logo, or black with white logo. 






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