Monday, June 01, 2009

Tagging Atlantic Sturgeon near Norrie Point

We came upon the DEC fisheries team in the process of tagging six males – all about 6 feet long. These fish are so astounding to see up close! Our Atlantic Sturgeon population has been nearly wiped out by overfishing. There are more males now because it was the females that were taken for their eggs/caviar. Any species whose eggs are a gourmet treat is in real trouble! Unlimited harvest of a fish species just before they spawn is a pretty efficient way to exterminate them. We did it to Atlantic Sturgeon until 1997 and River Herring and American Shad as well. This year however, the shad fishery has been suspended – in the hope that the stock can be restored. Our declining herring population still has no protection at all.