Executive SummaryDuring the spring of 2006, we documented movements, habitat use, and spawning site selection for Gulf sturgeon in the Apalachicola River system, Florida. We also attempted to estimate the number of Gulf sturgeon in two summer “resting” areas in the Brothers River, Florida. Key findings from this study include: (1) documenting spawning of Gulf sturgeon at two locations in the Apalachicola River, one of which is a newly confirmed location, (2) documenting protracted spawning of Gulf sturgeon in the Apalachicola River from at least from April 5 to May 1, (3) finding extensive movement of Gulf sturgeon from the Apalachicola, Brothers, and Choctawhatchee Rivers near the confirmed spawning grounds in the Apalachicola River, (4) observing rapid emigration from known Gulf sturgeon summer “resting” locations, likely in response to sampling activities, which greatly limits the use of simple closed population models to estimate population size. Our findings suggest that the Apalachicola River system contains a variety of very important habitat types used by Gulf sturgeon prior, during, and after spawning.
August 15, 2006
We have corrected an error in the heading for Figure 11 and Figure 12
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